Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Friday, April 2, 2010


Paella, a dish I’ve always ordered out, is now a dish I know anyone can make at home.

My mom and I prepared it together for her birthday. We followed the recipe in the Spanish cookbook 1080 Recipes, which you can find in my Amazon store. You can also find the amazing Le Creuset, which I relied on for this dish and use regularly.

Paella isn’t the easiest recipe to make because of the numerous steps. While I don’t mind cooking alone, this is at least a two-person job. A worrier, I was convinced that we were going to overcook something, from the squid to the chicken to the sausage. Nothing like that happened.

While we followed the recipe, we altered it a little for everyone’s dietary preferences and what was available: no shrimp, no monkfish, no peppers and chicken stock instead of fish stock. Phew!

It is possible to “own” any recipe and mold it to fit your tastes. I encourage you to read different versions of the same dish and notice what is always included and what changes before making your final decision. This cookbook has a number of types of paella, from fresh fish to chicken (which includes fish) to sausage to even canned fish.

Happy birthday, Mom! Cent’anni!

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