Denise says:

  • Authentic Paella is made with Valencia rice. I like to use the traditional spice of smoked paprika, made in Spain from smoked ground pimiento peppers.
  • It can be found in varying intensities from sweet and mild (dulce) and medium hot (agridulce) and hot (picante).
  • It adds the absolutely perfect taste to paella giving the dish a striking deep red colour. It has an intoxicating smoky aroma from slow oak smoking, and a silky texture from grinding between stones.
  • Preparation Time:  25 minutes
  • Cooking Time:  25 minutes
  • Serves 6 people


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 red onions- peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika ~
  • 340g Valencia Spanish rice or use risotto rice
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • ~
  • 225g frozen peas
  • 225g cherry tomatoes
  • 100g cavelo nero – remove central stalks and shred
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • For the garnish:
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 courgette- spiralized / grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley – roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large deep-frying pan. Lightly sauté the onions, peppers, garlic and smoked paprika until softened. (Approx 5 minutes)
  2. Add the rice to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes and stir well.
  3. Place the vegetable stock, wine and saffron in a separate saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the stock to the vegetable mixture gradually and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, cherry tomatoes, cavelo nero, zest and juice of lemon and season well. Add the lid and leave for 5 minutes to complete cooking.
  6. To serve: Serve a generous helping on to a warmed plate, garnish with black olives, spiralized courgette, lemon wedges, parsley and a good sprinkling of black pepper.