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Seafood paella with alioli

A Gourmet Traveller recipe for seafood paella with alioli, a Spanish classic.

By Andy Harris
  • Serves 4
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Seafood paella with alioli
Try a few glasses of chilled manzanilla while preparing this Spanish classic.


  • 750 gm squid, cleaned, tentacles left whole and tubes thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 litres fish stock (6 cups)
  • 1 kg chicken breast and thighs, cut into 6cm pieces
  • 2 tsp saffron threads
  • 600 gm Calasparra rice (see note) (3 cups)
  • 12 black mussels, scrubbed and bearded
  • 4 scampi (about 400gm)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 500 ml extra-virgin olive oil (2 cups)
  • ½ lemon (juice only)
  • 125 ml extra-virgin olive oil (½ cup)
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 5 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely grated


  • 1
    In a large bowl, combine squid, paprika and 1 tbsp oil, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    For alioli, place garlic and 1 tbsp sea salt in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound to a fine paste. Add egg yolks and mix with pestle until mixture turns a pale yellow. Add oil in a steady stream, mixing, until mixture thickens. Stir in lemon juice and 2 tbsp water and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 2 cups.
  • 3
    To make sofrito, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 10 minutes or until golden. Add bay leaves, paprika and sugar and cook for 3 minutes. Season to taste, add tomato and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens and tomato is soft. Transfer to a bowl.
  • 4
    Heat fish stock in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling, then remove from heat.
  • 5
    Heat remaining oil in two 24cm paella pans or thin-based pans over medium heat, sautè chicken for 5-7 minutes or until golden but not cooked through. Transfer to a bowl. Add squid, cook for 3 minutes and transfer to bowl.
  • 6
    Divide sofrito between pans, cook for 2 minutes, add half the stock and half the saffron to each pan and bring to the boil. Add half the rice to each pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken and squid to pans, cook for 5 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed, then add shellfish and cook for 8-10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Cover each pan with a cloth and stand for 5 minutes. Serve with alioli.


Note Calasparra rice is a short-grain rice available from delis and gourmet food stores.