bittman’s tomato paella – getting in under the wire…

October 9th, 2007 · 9 Comments


dear mark, the tomato paella was friggin genius p.s. i love you

bittman is my kind of cook. he’s the minimalist. he’s the anti-keller… i saw this in the wednesday dining section of the ny times, 5 weeks ago. then it started making the blog rounds but luisa’s version looked so alluring that i knew it was just a matter of time. so with what was likely my last batch of tennessee tomatoes, i knew i had to make this. first of all, i used an italian risotto. i searched two stores for some kind of real live spanish rice, but to no avail. so i stuck with what i had and it worked great. i do believe i wound up buying the most expensive pinch of spanish saffron known to man (note to self – stock up on some good saffron) but i wasn’t going to make this and then leave out the coveted ingredient. and then there’s my new best friend – pimenton. what a fabulous ingredient you are pimenton, all smokey and deep like a nina simone song. where have you been all my life?


there was garlic, onion, tomato paste, some pinot grigio, fresh basil and parsley and a totally great spanish olive oil that i got from zingerman’s. usually i don’t heat good oils, but i made an exception here and it was well worth it. these days i’m a big spanish and french olive oil fan – ‘butterier’ than italian. less of that peppery bite. but i use all the countries for different purposes and moods. it is one of the many ways that i amuse myself. i operate as an equal opportunity olive oil consumer. yes i do. so a friend came by and we had this as our main course with a loaf of olive bread. i forgot to make a salad so instead we drank more wine.

is there a correlation? perhaps so…

Tags: risotto · tomatoes

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jennifer Hess // Oct 9, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Beautiful! Such a great recipe – it’s definitely a keeper. :)

  • 2 claudia // Oct 9, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    jennifer – you did it tooooo….. i had forgotten. but see? i remembered intuitively that i had to make it – i knew i’d seen it elsewhere!

  • 3 Mary Coleman // Oct 9, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Mark Bittmann is a great inspiration, isn’t he!
    I think this has to be one of his all time greats.

  • 4 annie // Oct 9, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    You can’t have Mark, he’s mine! Plus, his wife and kids would be upset.

    Your Paella looks divine, the meal sounds great, and I think wine is an okay sub for salad – its good for you, and makes people happy in a way that seldom happens with even the best greens.

  • 5 alec // Oct 9, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    this one is turning up everywhere. I’m going to have to try it for sure. The blog world has left me no option. Looks great!

  • 6 claudia // Oct 9, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    mary – i don’t make pasta, or bread or preserves or pickles – that’s why i love bittman. fresh and easy and delicious

    annie – except at 2pm when you wake up parched, with a headache and heart palpitations wondering WHY you did it again…

    alex – the saffron and pimenton are a must. salt it well. and the eggs on top was a great idea. if you read the original article in the times he mentions that. I made it that way for leftover lunch – fabulous!

  • 7 windy // Oct 10, 2007 at 9:02 am

    mmm… paella! i used to not to put any saffron until i went to barcelona. then i realised that it taste much better with the saffron.

    Actually, you guys should have the sangria instead to match with the paella/spanish theme! :P

  • 8 Klinde // Oct 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Even with my “one good eye” this looks fabulous!! Maybe I can convince the German to cook for me since I am on “injured reserved” right now.

    I will give you call when my eye clears up and we can meet for a drink.

  • 9 claudia // Oct 11, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    windy – our wine was argentinian… kinda sorta closeish maybe ?

    klinde – you’re on girl!

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