I’m calling this a paella because it has a rich, saffron-infused broth. If you’re a paella purist, however, you can call it fennel-artichoke heart-white bean stew. Either way, it’s a warm and flavorful meal for a chilly fall evening. I serve it with basmati rice, because that’s my favorite, and some nice crusty bread.
Here’s La Paella by Conjunto Yumuri. Don’t know much about it, but I love it!
1 leek – cut in thin semi-circles
1 small bulb fennel – cut in thin slices
3/4 cup artichoke hearts (I use frozen, but packed in brine would work as well) – roughly diced
1 can small white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup green peas
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine
1 T tomato paste
pinch saffron, covered in boiling water and left to infuse itself
1 t. paprika
2 cloves garlic – finely diced
Warm the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic, after a minute or two, add the leeks. When these just start to brown slightly, add the white wine, the tomato paste, and the paprika. Let this mixture get thick and syrupy, then add the art hearts, fennel, tomatoes, peas and saffron in its water. Stir to combine, and let it reduce slightly. Add a cup or two of water to make a nice broth. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the fennel is soft and all the flavors are nicely combined. Add a dollop of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice, if you like.
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