In Spain, says Giada De Laurentiis, there’s paella made with rice, and then there’s paella made with noodles, which she also loves. This is her simpler, lighter version, which keeps the fun of the traditional recipe but makes it doable at home—on a weeknight, even. The saffron, smoked paprika, clams and shrimp preserve the spirit of a paella.
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into
3/4-inch (2-cm) pieces
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 bottles (each 8 fl. oz./250 ml) clam juice
- 1 can (15 oz./470 g) diced tomatoes with juices
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. crumbled saffron
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 8 oz. (250 g) whole-wheat spaghetti, broken into 1-inch
- 12 small clams, such as Manila, scrubbed
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/3 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a 5-quart (5-l) saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chicken and season with 1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the black pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl.
Add the fennel, bell pepper, onion and garlic to the pan. Season with 1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the black pepper. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes with their juices, bay leaves, paprika, saffron and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 9 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Add the clams and shrimp. Cover and cook until the clams open, the shrimp are pink and cooked through, and the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened clams along with the bay leaves.
Stir in the parsley and serve. Serves 6.
Adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food, by Giada De Laurentiis (Clarkson Potter, 2013).