Today Show: Mark Bittman Simple Paella Recipe with Pasta or Seafood

Mark Bittman: Best Pans For Cooking Paella

Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything, stopped by the Today Show to go over the best way to make paella. He has three different recipes for paella below but first he wanted to explain the right kind of pan you need to make any type of paella.

Bittman said paella is really just rice, a liquid and whatever other ingredients you want to throw in the pan. He said the only thing you need to remember is to use a pan with high edges and a large cooking surface. The high edges keep the liquid in the pan while the large surface area allows the liquid to cook quickly forming a crust on the bottom of the dish.

As for the rice, Bittman said any rice will work, from white rice to brown rice to arborio rice.

Today Show: Mark Bittman Simple Paella Recipe with Pasta or Seafood

Mark Bittman stopped by the Today Show where he showed Matt Lauer how to make simple paella with numerous options, like seafood paella and pasta paella.

Mark Bittman Simplest Paella Recipe

Mark Bittman Simplest Paella Ingredients:

  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups short- or medium-grain rice, preferably paella rice or Arborio
  • 2 cups peeled shrimp (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Mark Bittman Simplest Paella Directions:

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees. Warm the stock with the saffron in a small saucepan. Put the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally for another minute or two. Carefully add the warm stock and stir until just combined, then stir in the shrimp.
  • Put the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Check to see if the rice is dry and just tender. If not, return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes. If the rice looks too dry at this point, but still isn’t quite done, add a small amount of stock or water. When the rice is ready, turn off the oven and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with parsley.

Mark Bittman Paella With Peas, Clams and Chorizo Recipe

Mark Bittman Paella With Peas, Clams and Chorizo Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces Spanish chorizo or other smoked sausage, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 pounds littleneck or other hard-shell clams
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges

Mark Bittman Paella With Peas, Clams and Chorizo Directions:

  • Put the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent.
  • Stir in the rice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy and completely coated with oil, just a minute or two. Add the tomato and 2 cups water. Adjust the heat so that the liquid boils steadily but not violently and cover.
  • Cook for 30 minutes before checking for doneness; add a little water if the rice is dry but not yet tender. Cover and cook until the rice is just done and the liquid is absorbed, another 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the peas and the clams, replace the lid, and continue cooking until the clams are open, 3 to 5 minutes.

Mark Bittman Paella With Noodles Recipe

Mark Bittman Paella With Noodles Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces any long, thin pasta, broken into 2-inch or shorter lengths
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads, optional
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup water or stock, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces scallops, squid, clams, mussels, or shrimp or a combination
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges

Mark Bittman Paella With Noodles Directions:

  • Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes; remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the noodles to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until they brown.
  • Return the onion and garlic to the pan and add the saffron, paprika, peas and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the water and cook, stirring and adding more liquid if things start to stick, until the noodles are nearly tender and everything is just starting to dry out, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the seafood and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a little more water or stock if you like, until it is just cooked through. Stir in the parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.
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About the author

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Journalism and Anthropology, I managed a pizza place for a year, while freelancing for various newspapers in the area. Working every weekend in sauna like conditions, never being able to take a day off and being covered in flour is something I will not miss. I hope Recapo has air conditioning.

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