Tomato Paella with Chorizo

Tomato Paella Recipe - Pinch My Salt

Remember Mark Bittman’s Paella with Tomatoes that caused me to drool all over my keyboard last week? Well, I finally made it. It was the simplicity of this dish that drew me but when I saw some Spanish chorizo at the store, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to complicate the dish just a bit.

Since I’m in Italy, arborio (of risotto fame) was my rice of choice and it turned out to be a good one. The grains were firm yet creamy, a texture I can’t get enough of. For the smoked paprika, I used a combination of hot and sweet, one teaspoon of each. This added just enough heat to make it interesting. Both types came from The Spice House and I was glad to have them both on hand!

I’ve never used Spanish chorizo (not be be confused with Mexican chorizo, which is completely different) and I thought this was the perfect dish to give it a try. The chorizo I picked up at the store was just the prepackaged Goya brand sausage. I’m sure there is better chorizo to be found but tasted good and it turned the dish into more of a main course. If you can’t find chorizo, I think any kind of precooked or cured smoked sausage would be good.

I have to say that this is by far the best rice dish I have ever made. It was also one of the easiest. Now if you don’t have the smoked paprika and saffron in your pantry already, this dish requires a bit of an initial investment. But once you try using these spices, you’ll want to use them again and again. Trust me, it’s a good investment.

Tomato Paella with Chorizo

3 1/2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into thick wedges
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
large pinch saffron threads
2 t. smoked paprika (I used a combination of hot and sweet)
2 C. arborio rice
3-4 oz. Spanish chorizo, diced
minced parsley for garnish.

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Warm broth in a saucepan. Put tomatoes in a medium bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 1 T. olive oil. Toss to coat.

2. Put remaining 3 T. oil in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, saffron, and paprika and cook for a minute more. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is shiny, another minute or two. Add the chopped sausage and liquid and stir until just combined.

3. Put tomato wedges on top of rice and drizzle with remaining juices. Put pan in oven and roast, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Check to see if rice is dry and just tender. If not, return pan to oven for another 5 minutes. If rice looks too dry but still is not quite done, add a small amount of stock or water (or wine). When rice is ready, turn off oven and let pan sit for 5 to 15 minutes.

4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with parsley. If you like, put pan over high heat for a few minutes to develop a bit of a bottom crust before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Source: based on Paella with Tomatoes recipe New York Times, Dining & Wine, Sept. 5, 2007

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36 Comments
  1. Ruby Berry

    This dish looks delicious Nicole! I’ll have to try it sometime. I’m not sure where to buy spanish chorizo, there is an abundance of the Mexican kind around here.
    Thanks!

    4:51 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  2. Becky

    This looks amazing! And your photos are, as usual, gorgeous. This paella is definitely going on my list of things to try.

    5:39 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  3. Curt

    Nicole, was it as dark as it looks? I’d expect some vibrant golds and reds… sounds like a great dish. Chorizo comes in a lot of ‘styles'; a mix of 2-3 might be fun to do with this, too… some grilled, some not!

    and I got in as an early comment, woohoo!

    5:41 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  4. rachel

    I love it! Smoked paprika is my favorite.

    5:47 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  5. Nicole

    Ruby: you could just chop up any kind of smoked sausage and throw it in. Or make it without the sausage.

    Becky: Thanks!

    Curt: The photo is dark because it was evening and I was losing light! It was a bit brighter than it looks. Great idea about using different types of sausage!

    Rachel: I know, it’s great stuff!

    7:21 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  6. David

    Looks very, very tasty.

    (And, I like the new look.)

    8:33 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  7. Steph

    Awesome pics and recipe. Sucks we did not get to see you in the states Nicole but guess that is just the way it goes–busy woman.
    This recipe looks great. To help Ruby, not sure where you can find Spanish chorizo in Fresno area but they definitely have it down here in So cal area along w/the saffron. Our Spanish friend hits up a local place in Torrance where she finds all of the ingredients from her home town of Alganet.

    9:26 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  8. Cynthia

    Look at the beautiful, rich colour of that dish but then again, all Paella are colourful. Nicole, the tomatoes are not too tart for the dish?

    9:59 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  9. Terry B

    Speaking of drooling on the keyboard, Nicole! How gorgeous this is. You’re absolutely right about Spanish chorizo being completely different from Mexican. It’s so dense and delicious and full of paprika that colors whatever else you’re cooking. I like to slice up some and sauté it with some chopped up onion, zucchini and red bell pepper, then pour some beaten eggs into the skillet for a hearty lunch.

    10:30 pm  Sep 12th, 2007
  10. Joe

    That sounds great. I always seem to read these posts right before I have to go scavenge for some dinner. ;)

    12:39 am  Sep 13th, 2007
  11. Erin

    Well that’s officially the most beautiful rice I’ve ever seen. Excellent as usual Nicole. Now, is my dinner invitation in the mail? ;)

    12:42 am  Sep 13th, 2007
  12. Kevin

    That looks really good! Roasting it in the oven sounds good. I have yet to try spanish chorizo. I will have to look for some.

    2:35 am  Sep 13th, 2007
  13. Lydia

    Looks delicious! I often mix the hot and sweet smoked paprikas — somehow the flavor is better than simply going with the bittersweet, which is supposed to be somewhere between the other two.

    2:44 am  Sep 13th, 2007
  14. Kalyn

    Sounds delicious. I’ve only had paella once and never made it, but I’d love to try.

    3:55 am  Sep 13th, 2007
  15. Misslionheart

    I must make this! I tried chorizo for the first time this Summer and loved it. I added it to pasta and sun-dried tomatoes and some other ingredients (can’t think off-hand-what else!)

    Hope mine looks this good!

    2:45 pm  Sep 13th, 2007
  16. shivapriya

    Beautiful picture, can u post recipe for vegetable paella, I have heard a lot about it but never tasted it as no one prepares veggie version:)

    6:03 pm  Sep 13th, 2007
  17. Kristina

    This reminds me of the Farmers Market in Vancouver, WA. There is a guy there that makes excellent paella and I look forward to trying this myself!

    7:52 pm  Sep 13th, 2007
  18. Karen

    I saw that recipe and drooled too. Now I really want a taste!

    Bittman has a talent for presenting recipes with simplicity and global flavors — no wonder he’s so popular.

    9:16 pm  Sep 13th, 2007
  19. Karen

    I tried Mark Bittman’s version tonight, but with small chunks of boneless chicken thighs. It actually came out quite good, but not as good as your version, I’m sure. We’ll have to try it your way next, and I’ll also have to order some smoked paprika since it’s not sold locally. Thanks for the great recipe! It’s so simple and delicious and can easily be done on a busy weeknight.

    12:38 am  Sep 14th, 2007
  20. Katiez

    Great paella! Love the idea of making it in the oven – how easy..
    And the tomatoes look liked they roasted to a perfect state…. I could do this…just need the saffron…

    4:35 pm  Sep 14th, 2007
  21. Nicole

    Thanks everyone for all the great feedback!

    7:30 pm  Sep 14th, 2007
  22. amanda

    okay, it’s only 10:30 in the morning but my stomach can’t stop rumbling! it’s been a while since i’ve hopped around the foodblogosphere and nearly your entire front page has me salivating! it’s shear torture that i can’t taste every single thing. t has been asking me to make paella for him for, oh, over a year now. i just keep putting it off because i want to make a big fancy seafood version. i think i’m going to have to just suck it up and make something like this delicious masterpiece!

    5:39 pm  Sep 15th, 2007
  23. Peter

    Nicole, the timing for this dish (september) is bang on….gotta use up those garden tomatoes!

    11:05 am  Sep 17th, 2007
  24. Cindy K

    I made it yesterday, and it was fabulous! I added some grilled marinated chicken thighs, grilled the sausage, and put in some shrimp but followed the rest of the recipe and even my picky eater hubby commented on how great it was! The smoked paprika (he’s Hungarian) probably sold him!

    11:47 pm  Sep 17th, 2007
  25. Nicole

    Amanda: I have to take breaks from the food blogosphere too from time to time…so many good sites out there it can be overwhelming! Thanks for stopping by :-) Looking forward to your paella, whether it’s simple or fancy. I know whatever you come up with will be amazing!

    Peter: Exactly! Welcome back, looking forward to hearing of your Greek adventures :-)

    Cindy K: Thanks for sharing with us! Just out of curiosity, what did you use to marinate the chicken thighs? I love this recipe because it can be made simply with just the tomatoes or dressed up with whatever extras you want to add! Either way, it’s easy and delicious!

    7:15 am  Sep 18th, 2007
  26. TomC

    or even veggie sausage instead of the Spanish chorizo :)

    3:18 pm  Sep 19th, 2007
  27. Nicole

    Tom: That’s a good idea. I always forget about the vegetarian ‘sausages’ and such. I don’t usually buy them since we eat meat but I do love morningstar farms brand veggie corn dogs. I used to eat them all the time in college. I also love their black bean burgers. I doubt you have that brand in England though :-)

    6:00 pm  Sep 19th, 2007
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  30. Carrie

    I just tried this recipe a few days ago, and my husband and I both loved it! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    7:08 am  Jun 3rd, 2009
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  33. Syin

    I wasn’t going to comment on this recipe because I thought that the adaptations that I had made completely changed it but it was so delicious that I just had to say thank you! I used basmati instead of risotto rice (so it wasn’t paella), omitted the chorizo (I’m sort of vegetarian) and also topped with cauliflower as well as tomatoes. The flavour was absolutely immense and actually even better the next day. Om nom nom.

    6:22 am  Mar 1st, 2011
  34. Stuart

    That looks incredible. My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures. I was guided here after reading your Summer Fest Tomato recipes – which all look amazing by the way. I think I’ll make this at the weekend. Hopefully mine will taste as good as yours looks! Thanks.

    2:57 am  Aug 6th, 2013
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