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Sausage Paella with Red Onion and Cavalo Nero

Sausage Paella with Red Onion and Cavalo Nero

I can't decide which is my favourite... risotto or paella? They are cooked quite differently and both are fantastic when made well. Whilst working on this recipe, I do think that perhaps paella might just get my vote, with it's bold, upfront flavours. This is seriously tasty comfort food. It's also a 'one pan wonder' and the bonus... no stirring!

The quality of the ingredients really make this recipe work. Great tasting stock, good Valencian rice and great quality butcher's sausages. The rule of the sausage... 'you get what you pay for'. Somer Valley Farm is a small producer of sausages, charcuterie and fresh meat based near us and their award winning, hand-made sausages are a thing of beauty. Each batch is mixed by hand which ensures a perfect meaty texture - I used their Pork and Apple variety.

Contrary to popular belief, the classic paella from Valencia doesn't contain seafood, it's generally a meat-based dish using chicken, pork, rabbit and sometimes even snails. Smoked paprika and saffron are a classic part, so although this recipe is not truly authentic, is works really well and I'm sure will be a go-to recipe.

This is a classic one-pan recipe but have everything ready prepped as it's important that you add the ingredients in the correct order. If you can't find cavalo nero, you can use kale instead.

Ingredients for Sausage Paella with Red Onions and Cavalo Nero
Serves 4

440g Molina Roca Dinamita paella rice
2ltrs Chicken stock
A pinch of saffron
400g Somer Valley sausages, chopped into thirds
120ml extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and sliced chunky
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
A large sprig of fresh rosemary, stalks removed and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Las Hermanas sweet smoked paprika
1 glass red wine
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
100g cavalo nero, stalks removed and roughly chopped

1. Warm the chicken stock and add the saffron to infuse.

2. In a large frying pan or paella pan, over a medium heat, fry the sausages in the olive oil for a couple of minutes, then throw in the chunky slices of red onion. Keep cooking until the the sausages have developed a nice caramelised colour.

3. Now throw in the garlic and rosemary and cook for a further minute or so before adding in the smoked paprika. Mix this with the other ingredients in the pan for around 30 seconds (don't let it burn) and then add in the red wine. Let it bubble to burn off the alcohol and then add in the diced fresh tomatoes.

4. Keep cooking everything for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes have broken down, then add in the cavalo nero and mix with all the flavours in the pan.

5. Add in the rice and again, mix with all the flavours and cook for a minute before pouring over the saffron infused chicken stock.

6. Make sure all the ingredients are spread out evenly across the pan then leave it to do it's thing. For the first 10 minutes, cook the paella on a medium heat then for the next 10 minutes, turn the heat down to low and keep cooking. After 20 minutes, the rice should be perfectly cooked and most of the liquid should have been absorbed. Now turn the heat off and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. This last stage is important as the flavours keep developing as the paella cools - plus you'll taste everything much better when it's not boiling hot.

7. That's it, you're ready to serve..yum. I like it with a big fat glass of something red and generally fight anyone for scrapings of the pan afterwards.

And foodies, please message me if you want to continue the risotto v's paella debate!


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