This is a dish for when you have a little extra time to spend preparing dinner. It is not difficult, but it has several steps, as all paellas do. Traditional paellas are cooked over an open fire of aromatic pine and orange branches, which imparts a smoky undertone. We are using smoked paprika to suggest the fire roasted flavor. Traditional paellas are also a dish cooked by men.
The foundation for this recipe comes from Fresh and Fast Vegetarian: recipes that make a meal, by Marie Simmons.We took liberties with the vegetables and substituted green peas and green olives for green beans. On our second attempt, the amount of water added to the rice was reduced significantly. Those amounts are reflected in this recipe. The goal is to attain a crispy bottom, so it is important that the rice maintains its integrity. It cannot be wet or mushy. You will want to monitor this for yourself and adjust the amount of water you use so that you can get that crispy bottom.