Mark Bittman's Tomato Paella
- 3 C. water
- 1/2 C. white wine
- 1 1/2 lb. ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into thick wedges
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- Large pinch saffron threads
- 1-2 tsp. Spanish pimentón (paprika)
- 2 C. Spanish or other short-grain rice (arborio works very well too)
- 1/4-1/2 lb. shrimp, cleaned (optional)
- Minced parsley and basil for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Warm water in a saucepan. Put cut tomatoes in a medium bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle them with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Toss to coat.
Put remaining 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 if you are using it, and paprika and cook for a minute more. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is shiny, another minute or two. Add wine and let simmer until it is mostly absorbed. If you are adding shrimp, add in now and stir to combine. Then add the hot water and stir until just combined.
Put tomato wedges on top of rice and drizzle with juices that accumulated in bottom of bowl. 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 to 10 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.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with parsley and basil. If you like, put pan over high heat for a few minutes to develop a bit of a bottom crust before serving.Recipe as seen on The Wednesday Chef.