La Sínia’s rice
Paella is one of Mediterranean gastronomy's signature dishes and, at the same time, it is one of the creations with some of the most original versions to be found. Every foodie has a recipe that is the "real paella". But seeing as this quest is highly unrealistic, Francisco Asensio, manager of La Sínia Restaurant, shares the recipe for one of the most sought-after rice dishes in Sitges.
Ingredients for a paella for two people:
- 180 gr 180 gr. of Bomba rice
- 200 gr. of squid
- 4 langoustine-type shrimp
- 80 gr. of clams
- 80 gr of mussels
- 360 ml. of fumet (fish stock)
- 1/4 red bell pepper
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/2 onion
- 20 gr. of ñora pepper
- 40 gr. of homemade tomato sauce
- 20 gr. of parsley
- 1 clove of garlic
- Olive oil
We start off with the sofrito or sauté, which is the first detail of a good foundation. We chop the onion, the red bell pepper and the green pepper and fry them in olive oil over low heat. We gradually add the ñora pepper, the tomato sauce, the parsley and the garlic, also chopped, and finally the squid. Altogether it will take about 30 minutes of cooking time.
We move on to the paella pan, where we transfer the foundation we have prepared and stir in the rice. We will also fry the raw rice here for five minutes. Then we add the clams, that we will have been previously soaked in salty water for them to expel any sand they might contain, the mussels and the fish fumet. The fumet itself will provide the rice with all the salt it needs, to make sure that it is properly distributed and in the best possible way. But we will have a moment to adjust the amount of salt at the end of this step in needed, while there is still plenty of stock. We let it simmer for five minutes. Add the shrimp and let it cook for another seven minutes over low heat.
We will give it the finishing touch by placing the paella pan in the oven, which we will have set at maximum temperature. Ten minutes in the oven at 280 - 300 degrees will definitely give the dish the perfect texture. Francisco Asensio explains that at La Sínia, the finished paella is first shown to the diners in the pan and then plated up at the tables and that, even at home, it's not a bad idea to repeat this operation, which is very much a ritual.
There are certain key aspects of the personality of La Sínia's seafood paella that we can't take home with us, because Asensio stresses that their chefs are experts in this dish. "Their hands and the love they put into it are fundamental," he says. However, the other part of the secret is much more accessible to us. "We rely on fresh, local, same-day ingredients, which, whenever possible, come from Vilanova's fish market," he explains. That is the combination for success. "Our intention was to focus on grilled meats. But our paellas have been very popular and we get a many requests for them. That's because it's a top-quality product, but also because our kitchen staff gives it an extra special treatment," says the proud manager of La Sínia Restaurant, located at the El Garrofer Campsite.