tomato paella – worthy of a repeat

It was almost a year ago that I wrote about Mark Bittman’s ultra simple tomato paella. This dish is so good, and so timely, it’s worthy of another post.

I’ve made this dish several times since it first appeared in the New York Times. Each time I’ve used whole grain rice and each time, it comes out beautifully.

My sister gave me a whole bag of tomatoes from her garden so I made this dish again last night. It really is delicious and easy. The only challenge is to not eat all the tomatoes before you make it!

Tomato Paella
3 1/2 cups stock or water (a little more if using brown rice)
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into thick wedges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Large pinch saffron threads
2 teaspoons Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika)
2 cups Spanish or other short-grain rice (a little less is using brown)
Minced parsley for garnish.

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Warm stock or water in a saucepan. Put tomatoes in a medium bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss to coat.

2. 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 liquid and stir until just combined.

3. 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 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.

4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with parsley. If you like, put pan over high heat for a few minutes to develop a bit of a bottom crust before serving.

If using brown rice, it takes about 50 – 55 minutes to cook.


  1. Kate
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Yum… we need to talk you into visiting Spain. However! I think you have found a fabulous recipe to savor in OH. – k

  2. michelle v
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Hey Kate! Someday for sure!

  3. christina k
    Posted September 17, 2008 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    MV, I have exactly one bazillion tomatoes in my garden that need a home in a pot. I’ll see if I can duplicate your success w/ this recipe. Fingers crossed!

  4. cklenotic
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    It only took me four years, but I finally made this! Turned out yum!