One summer evening, after a week of cooking chowders (for my job), I was left with some fresh seafood and little desire to cook—until I remembered paella, a Spanish dish of saffron-scented rice, meat, and seafood that is prepared all in one pot. Making it gave me a chance to use linguiça, a delicious Portuguese sausage. It fed our hungry group with no more than a simple green salad and loaf of bread.
- 2 1 1/2-pound lobsters
- 4 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 2 links linguica (about 1/2 pound), skinned and chopped; or chopped cured Spanish-style chorizo or other cured sausage
- 2 cups white rice
- 3 cups fish or chicken broth, heated
- 1 pinch of crushed saffron
- Coarse salt (depends on saltiness of linguica and clams)
- 1 dozen littleneck clams, well cleaned
- 1 1/2 pounds codfish or any firm-fleshed white fish, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Sprigs of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, for garnish
- Bring 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the lobsters, cover, and cook for 13 minutes. Remove the lobsters and cool just enough to handle. Crack the shells and remove the meat. Keep the claws whole and chop the remainder of the meat into large pieces and reserve.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet or paella pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and saute the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the linguica and cook for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the rice and cook for a few minutes to lightly toast.
- Add the broth, saffron, and salt, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid or sheet of foil and place the paella in the oven for 10 minutes. Uncover and scatter the clams around on top of the rice. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more, or until the clams are open and the liquid is absorbed. With 3 minutes left to cook, add the codfish and lobster. Discard any clams that do not open. Garnish with parsley and serve.