This squid ink and toasted noodle paella is one of our all-time favorites. Try it and you’ll understand why.
Once on the table you’ll want to grab a spoon, crack through the crispy top and mix the allioli evenly throughout the inky paella until it’s as creamy as a risotto. Scrape up the crunchy base, getting plenty of the gooey center’s sweet seafood and tender noodles.
It’s easy to recreate this addictive dish at home. If you already have stock, sofrito, and picada, it comes together fast. You’ll know it’s ready when the short, thin noodles on top curl and rise like they’re dancing.
From the Boqueria Cookbook Buy on Amazon
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
2 cups fideo #1 noodles
3 cups Lobster Stock
2 tablespoons squid ink extra-virgin olive oil, as needed for frying and drizzling
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined 12 manila clams, cleaned well
6 ounces cuttlefish, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1⁄4 cup Sofrito
3 tablespoons Picada
Flat-leaf parsley, for serving
Allioli, for serving
For the Sofrito and Picada see our Seafood Paella Recipe Seafood Paella Recipe
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 400°F.
Spread the noodles on a half sheet pan. Bake on the center rack, stirring once or twice, until golden brown, about 5–6 minutes. Reserve.
Meanwhile, mix the stock and squid ink in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer.
While the stock comes to a simmer, coat a 16–18-inch paella pan with oil. Heat over high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Season the shrimp with salt and add in a single layer. Cook only until lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side. Quickly and immediately transfer to a plate. You just want to leave some shrimp flavor in the pan; you don’t want to risk overcooking the shrimp.
Turn the heat to medium-high; coat the pan with oil again, add the clams, and season them with salt. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until they start to gape open a little (discard any that fail to open), about 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl.
Coat the pan with oil again. Season the cuttlefish with salt and add to the hot oil in a single layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. You want the cuttlefish to caramelize a bit in the pan; add more oil if any pieces stick. Add the sofrito and picada and stir until well mixed. Add the toasted noodles and stir until well combined. Add the simmering stock-squid ink mixture. It should boil immediately. Season to taste with salt.
Boil the mixture over high heat for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes more.
Turn the heat to high. Cook until you can hear the noodles crackling and creating the soccarat crust on the bottom, about 30 seconds. Top with parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve immediately with allioli.
Chef’s tip: Squid ink is available in specialty stores and seafood markets.