Shhh, paella is a non-stirred risotto.
Don’t tell anyone that you are being utterly lazy and walk away from your rice as it cooks on your stovetop, all by itself, no stirring required. There’s actually no reason why you can’t use risotto rice for a paella – both short grain and very starchy and so long as you don’t stir it, you should get a very good paella from arborio or carnaroli rice. I like to minimise the number of rice types in my store cupboard and I’m so pleased that the main difference between these two dishes is the technique.

A good paella will have quite separate grains of rice of rice, it won’t have the creamy unctuousness of a risotto and the bottom may have caught a little in the pan as you must not stir it once the stock has gone into the rice.


My midweek meals have to either be fast full stop (I would class this as prep to plate in under 30 minutes start to finish) or need to give me time to jump in the shower, put the washing on or if I’m really lucky, have a drink and vegetate in front of the TV with Hungry Hubby as it cooks. By making use of one of my favourite flavour bomb ingredients – in this case, baby chorizo sausages – you don’t need much in the way of seasoning to have a tasty, flavoursome and fast dinner.

I essentially steam the squid rings by taking the dish off the heat and putting the lid on for 5 mins (I do use my oven timer for this to make sure I don’t overcook the temperamental fish). If you had some slow cooked pork, leftover roast chicken or some vinegary roasted red peppers in a jar, perhaps leftover from making my one pot eggs dish you could pimp your paella and feel just like a domestic goddess for rustling up such a comforting feast so easily midweek.

A one pot dinner of rice, with a saffron scented stock, a little Spanish sherry and making use of leftover vegetables and meats.
Servings: 2 people
: 882 kcal
Author: Just Jo
  • 125 g risotto rice although there is no reason why you can't use paella rice such as bomba
  • 2-4 tbsp sherry amontillado or pedro ximenez are worth trying
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 4-6 mini chorizo sausages the raw sort, chopped into discs
  • 1 raw red pepper or 1 roasted from a jar
  • 1 can of sweetcorn or 2 large handfuls of frozen peas
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 600 ml stock vegetable or chicken
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 medium squid tube sliced into 1cm thick rings
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Put a wide and shallow casserole or saucepan on medium high heat on the hub and add in the chorizo and chopped onion. Cook for 5- 10 minutes until the oil is released from the sausage and the onions softened.
  2. Add in the raw pepper if using a raw one (if using a roasted red pepper from a jar, just chop and add it with the squid as it doesn't need cooking, just reheating).
  3. Stir in the rice, followed with the sweetcorn or peas then once slick with oil, add in the sherry.
  4. Pour in all the stock along with the saffron and turn the heat down to medium-low and quickly put on the lid. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile quickly toss the squid in the olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and salt and pepper - set aside.
  6. When the timer is up, check the rice - if needed, add a little more stock and cook a few more minutes but if it's translucent, turn off the heat, lay the squid and it's marinade on top and replace the lid. Set the time for 5 minutes before removing and checking the fish is cooked.
  7. Serve sprinkled with extra lemon juice and the freshly chopped parsley.
Recipe Notes

Note risotto rice can be very variable in the amount of liquid it needs to cook and the time it takes to cook. It's always worth having a little more stock on hand in case the rice needs a touch more.
Don't slice the squid too thinly or it will over cook and toughen up.
Fresh peas would be a real treat if you have some in your garden.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 882 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 72016mg 3001%
Potassium 1679mg 48%
Total Carbohydrates 120g 40%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 52g
Protein 59g 118%
Vitamin A 45.3%
Vitamin C 141.6%
Calcium 21.2%
Iron 58.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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By | 2018-02-18T20:31:36+00:00 June 16th, 2015|Categories: Fast Food, Traditional Home Cooking|Tags: , , , , , , , , |6 Comments


  1. Gary Lum (@Yummy_Lummy) 16/06/2015 at 11:17 - Reply

    My favourite ‘leave alone’ rice dish is my Mum’s congee. I just put a chook and some rice in a pressure cooker. Cook for half an hour and allow to cool so I can pick the meat from the chicken and then stir it all up. Great comforting peasant food that can be enjoyed with shredded lettuce, shredded ham and some soy sauce.

    • Just Jo 16/06/2015 at 12:35 - Reply

      That does sound delicious – so comforting.

  2. Kelly-Jane 16/06/2015 at 19:33 - Reply

    Love a good paella. Haven’t made it in way too long.

    • Just Jo 16/06/2015 at 20:36 - Reply

      You should give this one a go then KJ!

  3. Liz T 23/07/2015 at 20:56 - Reply

    Just wanted you to know that I tried this tonight Jo, it was scrummy and my own hungry hubby approved so definitely win/win. Thank you for a great recipe.

    • Just Jo 23/07/2015 at 21:17 - Reply

      Oh excellent! So happy you both enjoyed it – thanks for sharing :D

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