Asparagus, peas and bacon paella isn’t quite a classic paella. Although originally, paellas were a rice with all the ingredients from under the nose of those making it on the rice fields would use; like mini eels, snails, rabbit, etc. So I do exactly the same, I add a few leftovers of bacon bits to finish and also a 3 days old bunch of asparagus, and finish it up with my rest of frozen peas. I mean, yes… it is a leftover meal, but it still all works together in the end, I don’t just throw all my fridge leftovers for the sake of finishing the food.
Paellas are a great way to use your leftovers, also it’s a fairly easy and tasty meal. The secret of a good paella lays in the broth you add to it, which usually contains a little wine. The paellas, as opposed to risotto, should not move during coccion, so you won’t get the creaminess of the risotto here, you’ll get a defined texture of the rice. Also, I didn’t add any cheese nor butter at the end, like in risotto. The amount of fat is really low, it’s only a touch of olive oil, and the fresh bacon bits, although in small amount here, this gives all the fat necessary to the paella. The recipe is suitable for vegetarian, only eliminate the bacon bits and add an extra tbsp of olive oil at the beginning of coccion.
Paella rice or more precisely “bomba rice” is a round grain and it needs to be lightly fried in fat before coccion, usually olive oil. Then the warm broth is added, a little stir and that’s all! Be careful though, if you stir more during the coccion, it will release the starch of the rice and make the paella sticky, which is not the desired effect for a paella dish.
Let’s make that spring paella going!
Asparagus, Peas and Bacon Paella
Makes 4 portions
- 10 green asparagus, cut into 2cm pieces
- 200g of green peas
- 1 leek finely sliced
- 50g of fresh bacon bits
- 400g of bomba rice
- 500ml of warm vegetable broth
- 100 ml of white wine
- 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
- a few fresh basil leaves
- salt, pepper
- Start by warming up the broth in a sauce pan
- In a big deep enough pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and bring to medium high heat
- Add the leeks, bacon bits and salt and let the leek soften
- Add the peas (if frozen, let them get warm)
- Make a well (see pictures above) and add the other tbsp of olive oil in the center
- Add the bomba rice in the centre and mix all together, bring the heat to high, and mix for a 2 minutes
- Add the white wine and deglaze the bottom, for 1 minute
- Add the vegetable broth until it top the rice by max. 1 cm
- Add the cut asparagus, salt and pepper
- Let cook at high heat the first 10 minutes
- Then, low it down to medium high heat for the last 5 minutes, add a little extra broth if too dry
- When done, cover with a clean towel and let sit for 4 minutes before serving
Serve with a nice white wine and fresh basil leaves on top. Enjoy!