An iconic Spanish dish you can make at home without too much hassle

There are probably just a few dishes around the world that are so linked to the country where it was born. And if we’re discussing “iconic”, it really doesn’t get any more iconic than Spanish paella. And this is already quite surprising as the origin of the term paella is not Spanish, but Arabic, and it combines elements of the Roman and the Arabic cultures.

Now, of course Spain is a widely varied country in terms of regions, culture and, naturally, the dishes and meals prepared in each one of them. But there’s no way you pay a visit to this European country, wherever you choose to go and not try out this classic dish.

Rice, paella and tradition

As you may already know, rice is not originally Spanish, it was brought to the country many centuries ago. But the truth is that they not only welcome the ingredient, they adapted it to their cuisine and gave it a thousand different shapes in a thousand differente recipes. That’s when paella became so widely popular across the country that it is now considered the national dish of Spain.

But there are as many ways of making a paella as Spanish inhabitants for each version has its own details. Now, if we had to make a difference, we could split paella into two groups: that which doesn’t not include seafood, Valencian Paella (the truly original one) and the seafood paella which of course mixes rice with the ingredients so willingly given by the coast that surrounds the country.

The Spanish experience

Although one is considered a national dish, they are both easily found and, for sure, the first option of those tourists looking for Spain, the full experience.

Now, it sounds great, it tastes even better, but there’s quite a resistance when it comes to cooking it because it definitely looks harder than it really is and we can thank globalization because it’s not really necessary to travel to Europe to try paella out. You can find all the ingredients at your local store, go back to your house, play some flamenco in the background and start living this experience without stepping a toe out of the comfort of your own house.

Try out the following recipe!


  • 3 garlic cloves.
  • 1 onion.
  • 1 red pepper.
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce.
  • 1 squid.
  • 1 cup of peeled and deveined shrimp.
  • Fresh mussels.
  • 3 cups of fish broth.
  • 1 ½ cup of rice.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 1 tbsp of saffron.
  • 1 tbsp of paprika.


  1. As for the vegetables, take three cloves of garlic and mince them. Take an onion and a red pepper and finely dice them down.
  2. As for the seafood, take a tube of squid previously washed and cut in open, cut in half and dice it down. Peel the shrimps and clean the mussels. Rinse them and scrub them under water.
  3. Take a paella pan (a wok, or just a wide frying pan in case you don’t have one). Preheat it to medium heat and pour some extra virgin olive oil. You can use seasalt to season it.
  4. Add the squid and stir so it gets soaked in the olive oil. Cook the squid for two minutes and before they are completely cooked, remove them from the pan. Set aside.
  5. Add the garlic and the onions to the pan and stir. Cook that for about two minutes and add the red peppers. Cook altogether for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add a cup of tomato sauce. Stir and mix the ingredients. Season them with paprika, salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need to stir continuously, cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Take the squid back to the pan and add three cups of fish broth. Season with a pinch of saffron. Mix and stir all the ingredients together. Bring the mix to a boil.
  8. Once it boils, add one and a half cup of rice and mix the ingredients. Let it cook for five minutes.
  9. Add the shrimps and the fresh mussels, make sure they are evenly distributed. As from this point, do not stir the mix. Let it cook for about five minutes and bring the heat to low.
  10. Do not stir, just gently shake the pan from time to time. Let it cook for about ten minutes.
  11. After ten minutes, take the pan to a high heat for just one minute and turn the heat off.
  12. Cover the pan with aluminum paper and some dishcloth and let it sit for an extra five minutes.
  13. Unveil it, pour some fresh parsley and serve.