Arròs Negre (or Black Paella for the uninitiated)

The first thing that comes to mind when foreigners think about Spanish food is the almighty paella, but, while arguably a perfect dish, my favorites are variations like the fideuà or arròs negre, which pass under the radar and so keep the quality of well-kept secrets. This recipe is taken from a book from the most famous Catalan cook, Ferran Adrià.

Arròs Negre (Black Paella)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 6
  • A big squid
  • 5 cups of rice for paella
  • 12 cups of fish broth
  • 2 tbsp of squid ink, diluted in a bit of warm water
For the sauté
  • 420 gr. of grated tomato
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • Thyme, rosemary, bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the “green paste”
  • 3 or 4 parsley branches
  • A handful of hazelnuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Preparation of the sauté
  1. Chop garlic and onion and sauté for 10 min. in olive oil.
  2. Add a tsp of thyme, a tsp of rosemary and 2 bay leafs. Stir carefully.
  3. Finally add the tomato and salt and cook on low fire for 20 min.
  4. Let cool and process to obtain an homogeneous paste.
Preparation of the paste
  1. Hand-blend the parsley and hazelnuts together.
  2. Add olive oil while you blend to create a green thick paste.
Preparation of the paella
  1. Cut the squid into small squares and stir-fry in a paella at medium heat for 1 or 2 min.
  2. Add 6 tbps of the sauté, stir and cook for 10 min. Add water if necessary so it doesn’t get stick.
  3. Slowly add the rice whitout ceasing to stir. Cover with broth and bring up to a boil, then let it simmer at medium heat for 8 min.
  4. Add 3 tbsp of the green paste, salt to taste, the ink and mix.
  5. Let cook at medium-low heat for 20 min without stiring. Add a bit of broth if it dries out too soon.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
  7. Enjoy with a bit of allioli on the side!


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