Paella a la Marinera (Fisherman’s Paella)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


Hailing from coastal Spain, this recipe calls for a plethora of seafood. Ask your fishmonger for the freshest langoustines or head-on shrimp available. We ran the recipe with David Rosengarten's feature "The Art of Paella" (April 2010).


  • 25 threads saffron, crushed (a heaping 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 lb. boneless monkfish filets, cut into 2" pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 langoustines or extra-large head-on shrimp in the shell
  • 10 oz. cuttlefish or small squid, cleaned and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 medium tomatoes, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 7 cups fish broth
  • 2 12 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
  • 12 lb. small clams, cleaned


Step 1

Put saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl; let sit for 15 minutes. Season monkfish with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 16"-18" paella pan over medium-high heat. Add monkfish and langoustines and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; transfer monkfish and langoustines to a plate and set aside. Add cuttlefish, paprika, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and onions to pan and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add reserved saffron mixture and broth, season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 2

Sprinkle in rice, distribute evenly with a spoon, and cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10-12 minutes. (If your pan is larger than the burner, rotate it every two minutes so different parts are over the heat and the rice cooks evenly.) Reduce heat to low, add reserved fish and langoustines, and nestle in clams hinge side down; cook, without stirring, until clams have opened and rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, 5-10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

See our step-by-step guide to making paella in the gallery, below.

Steeping the Saffron The most traditional way of coloring and flavoring paella is with the dried threads of this spice. Crush them between your fingers over a small bowl and cover with hot water to allow the flavor to bloom.
Sauteing the meat or fish Cooking the ingredients in hot oil will build a strong flavor base. If using shrimp or fish, remove it from pan before it's completely cooked through to prevent overcooking.
Cooking the sofrito This vegetable base (garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and so on), cooked with paprika until the spice infuses the ingredients, is another important building block of flavor. The longer the sofrito cooks, the darker and richer the paella will taste.
Adding liquid Paella purists in Valencia claim that their local water is essential ingredient, but using some chicken stock or seafood stock (which should be added at the same time as the saffron and its steeping liquid) will yield a more deeply flavored dish.
Cooking the rice After the rice is distributed evenly, stop stirring and allow the grains to soak up the liquid. Move the pan every few minutes so all parts receive direct heat and cook evenly.
The final simmer When a thin layer of cooking liquid remains, reduce heat to low, add remaining ingredients, and cook until the rice has absorbed the remaining liquid.

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