Pepper & Pea Paella

I love a bit of alliteration in my food and it is amazing how many ingredients that start with the same letter go well together…if you try hard enough anyway. Carrot, cumin and chickpea coconut curry? Erm…beetroot bulgar wheat salad with babaganoush? Apricot and almond? Balsamic vinegar and beetroot? Cauliflower and caper cheese? Ok maybe not that many. Can you think of any?

Anyway here is the recipe for this version of paella. I have diced everything so the kids will eat it but feel free to do more elegant slicing yourselves.

In a paella pan, or large frying pan, fry diced onions and peppers in olive oil until they start to soften. Add crushed garlic, a few teaspoons of delicious salty capers (or olives, or both!) and diced fresh tomatoes (tinned tomatoes are fine too). Cook until the tomatoes start to disintegrate into a saucy mush. Stir in a teaspoon or two of good quality smoked paprika and add chilli flakes if you like. Zest a lemon into the pan and then sprinkle over some paella rice. Add a precious pinch of saffron and the juice of the lemon. Season well and stir fry until the rice is well incorporated and has soaked up all the juices. Add enough water to cook the rice (usually about 1:2 rice:water). Try not to fiddle with pan too much at this stage. When the paella starts to bubble turn it down to a simmer and loosely cover. Test the rice every 5 minutes or so and when it is very nearly done sprinkle over some frozen peas and cover. Add more water at any stage if it seems to be drying up before the rice is cooked. Serve with lemon wedges and plenty of chopped parsley. Liz x



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