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Squid Ink Paella

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Active time 20 mins
Total time 55 mins
Yield

Serves 6

Squid ink is as much a food coloring as it is a flavoring element. Work with gloves or over parchment paper to help keep its stain in your food and not on your hands and tools.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined large raw shrimp, tails on
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 pound whole cleaned skinless squid tubes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups bomba rice or Arborio rice
  • 3 teaspoons squid ink
  • 1/2 pound littleneck clams in shells, scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

How to Make It

  1. Combine seafood stock, water, wine, and saffron in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high; cover and reduce heat to low. Keep over low heat until ready to use.

  2. Pulse onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, 6 to 8 times.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 15-inch paella pan over 2 burners on medium-high. Add shrimp to the pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the shrimp are golden on both sides, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from pan, and set aside.

  4. Add the onion mixture, squid, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly all the liquid evaporates, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in paprika, and cook 2 more minutes.

  5. Add rice and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is slightly translucent, about 1 minute. Remove 1/2 cup of stock mixture, and reserve for use in Step 6; stir remaining stock mixture into paella.

  6. Add squid ink, and stir just until rice is evenly distributed. (Do not overstir.) Cook over medium-high, 15 minutes, without stirring. Rotate the pan to ensure even heating. If paella begins to look dry in parts, add reserved stock mixture to that area, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.

  7. Add clams, hinge side down, equally spaced around the pan. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Add mussels, hinge side down. Cover and cook another 4 minutes. Distribute shrimp evenly in pan, and cook another 4 minutes, uncovered. Increase heat to high, and cook, without stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover with aluminum foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Top with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.