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with squid, prawns, mussels and saffron allioli

Serves  6

Preparation time 15 minutes

cooking time 45 minutes

Text and Recipes Andy  Harris
Food Styling Hannah Meppem
Wine Matches Peter Bourne
Photography William Meppem
Styling Sabine Schmitz


Saffron allioli
4 saffron threads
splash red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp sea salt
2 egg yolks
8 tbsp olive oil

FideuÀ paella
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
4 medium-sized white onions, peeled and sliced
2 green capsicums, deseeded and sliced
6 large ripe tomatoes, grated
1 tsp smoked paprika
300g vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into 3cm pieces
1.2 litres fish stock
250g squid, cleaned and cut into rings
18 prawns, deveined with heads removed and tails left on, shell on
500g mussels, cleaned
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

lemon wedges


1 To make the saffron allioli, place the saffron in a small bowl with 1 tbsp boiling water and the vinegar. Leave to infuse.

2   Meanwhile, crush garlic and 1 tsp sea salt to a fine paste in a mortar with a pestle. Add the egg yolks and combine well. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil until the mixture thickens. Finally, slowly whisk in the saffron mixture then transfer to a bowl until ready to use.

3 Heat half the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 12-15 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the capsicum and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring, until the capsicum has also softened. Add the grated tomato, paprika and some sea salt. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the whole mixture has thickened.

4 Heat a 30cm paella pan over medium heat. Add the vermicelli and spread over the bottom of the pan. Stir and turn the vermicelli for 2-3 minutes until it is toasted. Transfer to a bowl until ready to use.

5 Heat fish stock in a saucepan over low heat until simmering.

6 Heat remaining olive oil in a 30cm paella pan over high heat. Add the squid and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the vermicelli into the paella pan and stir well.

7 Stir in the tomato mixture and three quarters of the fish stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, adding more stock to just cover the mixture.

8 Add the prawns and mussels, burying them amongst the vermicelli then continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the vermicelli is almost cooked but still slightly al dente and beginning to crisp out on top - all the stock should almost have been absorbed. Turn heat off and cover tightly with a clean kitchen cloth for 5 minutes before serving. 

9 Sprinkle with parsley and then serve with the saffron allioli spooned into the centre of the pan and some lemon wedges on the side.

Wine Match

2018 Giant Steps LDR Pinot Noir Syrah,
Yarra Valley, A$35

There's an increasing move to light dry reds (LDR) that are destined for the table rather than the cellar. It's really a throwback to the non-varietal specific reds of yesteryear, when new oak was unheard of, alcohols were lower and (palate cleansing) acidity more pronounced. Here, Steve Flamsteed co-ferments pinot noir and shiraz before resting the young wine in neutral oak and bottling early to retain its youthful energy. It's just 13% alcohol with the verve and vibrancy that's a brilliant foil to this pasta-based version of a traditional paella. The LDR's juicy red fruits and its refreshing acidity will make an easy companion to the paella's rustic seafood and the intense flavours of the accompanying saffron allioli.