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Arroz a banda

Australian Gourmet Traveller Spanish food recipe for Arroz a banda

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking
Arroz a banda
Arroz a banda

This traditional Spanish dish consists of two courses of rice with seafood broth. The rice is eaten first and the seafood and broth served as a second course. This recipe is adapted from Elisabeth Luard's beautiful book The Flavours of Andalucía.


  • 500 gm very ripe tomatoes
  • 160 ml olive oil (2/3 cup)
  • 1 small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp hot Spanish paprika
  • ½ tsp saffron threads, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
  • 250 gm baby octopus, cleaned
  • 12 medium green prawns (about 250gm)
  • 12 small clams, soaked in cold water
  • 12 small green mussels, beards removed
  • 8 small red mullet fillets, skin on
  • 410 gm Calasparra rice (2½ cups)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ long red chilli, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and coriander leaves
  • 80 ml olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp lemon juice


  • 1
    For salmoretta, cook tomatoes cut-side up under a hot grill until scorched and process in a food processor with onion, garlic, chilli and herbs until finely chopped. With motor still running, add oil in a thin, steady stream and process until amalgamated. Add vinegar and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, pulse to combine and set aside.
  • 2
    For alioli, combine egg yolks, garlic and vinegar in a small bowl and season to taste. Add oil, a drop at a time, whisking continuously until completely incorporated and you have a thick, glossy mixture. Add lemon juice, mix to combine and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • 3
    Halve half the tomatoes, then coarsely grate over a bowl to catch juices, grating until you reach the skin, set aside (discard skins). Thickly slice remaining tomatoes and set aside.
  • 4
    Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole over medium heat, add onion, garlic and capsicum and cook for 10-15 minutes or until very soft, add paprika, saffron and soaking liquid and cook for another minute, stirring until fragrant. Transfer to a food processor and process to a coarse paste. Return to pan, add grated tomato and bring to the boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, season to taste, then add baby octopus and 1.5 litres cold water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add prawns, clams, mussels and fish, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until just tender, then remove from heat and keep warm.
  • 5
    Heat remaining oil over medium-high heat in a 40cm paella pan or large deep-sided frying pan, add sliced tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Ladle off 1.25 litres of the fish broth, add to tomatoes and bring to the boil. Stir in rice, season to taste and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring continuously, remove from heat, cover loosely with foil and stand for 10 minutes. Serve rice first, then seafood and remaining broth with salmoretta and alioli passed separately.


Drink Suggestion: Crisp white from Rueda. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Emma Knowles