Venetian-Style Paella

This recipe is from the 30 Minute Meals section of Rach’s groundbreaking new cookbook, Look + Cook. Watch a video of Rach cooking this recipe in real time!


  • 1 pound hot or sweet sausage links
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 healthy pinches of saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta or broken bits of thin spaghetti
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 1/4 cups white rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound large deveined shrimp or scrubbed mussels or a combination of both
  • 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced, or 1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces), drained well
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded


Place the sausages in a small skillet with 3/4 inch of water, bring to a boil and par-cook for 7-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the stock and saffron in a medium size pot and warm. Heat a large heavy pot or deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat with the EVOO. When the EVOO smokes, add the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken for a couple minutes on each side, then remove to a plate. Add the par-boiled sausage and crisp up the casings, 2-3 minutes, then remove and cut into large chunks. Add the butter to the pot and melt.

Add the pasta and toast for a couple minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, then add the bay leaf and stir for 2-3 minutes more. Add the rice and stir to combine, then deglaze the pot with the white wine, stirring for 30 seconds. Place the chicken and sausages back into the pot, pour in the saffron stock and stir.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the seafood and tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes more, until the shrimp are opaque. If using mussels, cook until the mussels are open. Discard any that do not open. Discard the bay leaf, top with basil and serve.

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