Shrimp Paella with Salmoretta Red Pepper Sauce

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Paella! by Penelope Casas

Serves 6 to 8



  • 8 cups water or clam juice
  • 1 dozen large clams, cleansed
  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled thread saffron
  • Salt
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 dried mild New Mexico peppers, cored and seeded (otherwise use 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked, and 1 fresh red bell pepper)
  • 4 small whole tomatoes


  • 1 pound small to medium shrimp in their shells
  • Salmorreta Red Pepper Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 16 to 24 extra-large shrimp in their shells, preferably with heads
  • 2 large cleaned squid (about 1/2, pound), with or without tentacles, finely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked
  • 3 cups imported Spanish or Arborio short-grain rice

Salmorreta Sauce

  • 2 tomatoes (reserved from the seafood stock)
  • 2 mild New Mexico peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher sale
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Shrimp Paella with Salmoretta Red Pepper Sauce

Shrimp Paella with Salmoretta Red Pepper Sauce

Click image to enlarge



To make the broth, combine in a large pot the water, clams, saffron, salt, parsley; dried peppers, and tomatoes. Shell the small shrimp and add the shells to the broth. Bring to a boil and sim­mer about 30 minutes. Remove the dried peppers and 2 of the tomatoes to a platter. Strain the rest of the broth, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possi­ble, and measure to 6 cups. Scrape the flesh from the peppers and add to the broth.

Make the salmorreta sauce according to the instructions, using the 2 reserved tomatoes,

skinned and seeded, instead of the tomatoes called for in the salmorreta recipe. Keep the broth hot over the lowest heat.

Preheat the oven to 400° F for gas oven, 450° F for electric.

Cut the small shelled shrimp crosswise into halves or thirds. Sprinkle the shelled shrimp, the unshelled extra-large shrimp, and squid all over with salt. Heat the oil in a paella pan mea­suring 17 to 18 inches at its widest point (or in a shallow casserole of a similar size), over 2 burners if necessary. Sauté the unshelled shrimp over medium heat until just cooked through. Set aside.

Add the garlic, shelled shrimp, squid, and parsley to the pan and cook 1 minute or so. Stir in the paprika and 4 tablespoons of the salmorreta sauce. Add the rice and coat well with the pan mixture. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, and boil, stirring and rotating the pan occasion­ally, until the rice is no longer soupy but sufficient liquid remains to continue cooking the rice, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes in a gas oven, 15-20 minutes electric, until the rice is almost al dente. Remove to a warm spot, arrange the large shrimp over the rice, cover with foil, and let sit 5-10 minutes, until the rice is cooked to taste.

To make the Salmoretta Sauce

Remove and discard the skin and seeds from the tomatoes; coarsely chop. Put the peppers, paprika, parsley, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until ground; stir in the oil and lemon juice. Let sit at least 30 minutes to soften the peppers. The sauce will keep for up to 24 hours, refrigerated.


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