This recipe is for a real Valencian seafood paella—without any meat or chicken mixed in.
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 jumbo shrimp, unpeeled
- 12 medium shrimp, unpeeled
- 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and grated
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 large pinch saffron threads
- 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
- 1⁄2 lb. fresh or frozen Italian-style broad green beans, cut in 2'' pieces
- 1 cup dried white beans (such as white lima or butter beans), soaked overnight and drained
- 3 cups Spanish paella rice or short-grain Italian rice
- 12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
Heat oil in a 16''–18'' paella pan or large skillet over medium heat. Pan will span two burners; rotate pan occasionally for even cooking. Add all shrimp, sauté for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add tomatoes and garlic to oil in pan, and cook for 3–5 minutes.
Toast saffron in a small skillet over medium heat for 1 minute; crumble into 12 cups water with paprika, then pour into pan. Add all beans, salt to taste, and simmer until reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Stir rice into pan, then add mussels and press down to submerge in liquid as much as possible. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, until rice begins to swell, about 10 minutes. (Discard mussels that do not open.)
Place shrimp on top of rice, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a clean dish towel, and cool for 20 minutes. Serve from pan at room temperature.