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Paella with shrimp and sausage

I love Spain and I love the Spanish people but I have to say, and my Spanish friends will probably kill me for saying it - I am not over keen on their cuisine. The regions of Spain contrast strikingly and in nothing more than their wines and regional cooking.

Extremadura is well known for its hams, Andulasia is noted for its fried foods, Old Castile id famous  for its roast young pork and  lamb and Valencia has a reputation for its paella. The country has the best of natural products  but I am unimpressed with the majority of Spanish  recipes which are all too often fatty and difficult to digest.

Still on the subject of heavy food, and contradictory to what I have just written, I have to confess to liking an occasional paella. One thing I have however learned,  is that you rarely get a good one in a restaurant. I have tried them in Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona and of course in Valencia and always end up disappointed. But to dine privately and alfresco in the cool evening air, at a table surrounded by good friends, an ample supply of a pleasant wine and enjoying a paella prepared by the host or hostess – this is the genuine article.

Spanish Paella

Sevings: 4

• 2 chicken breasts, skin removed and cut into large pieces
• 2 Italian sausages, cut into 1 inch pieces
• 2 onions, peeled and chopped
• 10 whole cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 tin (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
• 2 cups Arborio rice
• 3 cups chicken stock
• 1 cup of your red or white wine
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• 1 red pepper, seeds removed and chopped
• 1 pound of shrimp, shelled and de-veined

1. Heat a large flat sauté pan or use a traditional paella pan. Add a little oil and brown the chicken and sausages. Once they have browned set them aside on a plate.
2. Add the onions to the hot pan with a little more oil and sauté until golden.
3. Add the garlic and stir for a few moments.
4. Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon.
5. Add rice, stock, wine, bay leaves, rosemary, red pepper, the reserved meat and the shrimp.
6. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until the liquid has absorbed and the rice is tender, about thirty minutes.

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