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The Catalans cook pasta and shellfish in a Pallera ( a round shallow, double handled metal pan used to cook Paella ) instead of with rice, like the Valencians and the Alicantines.


Here is a Barcelona take on the recipe:


Serves 6 to 8


2 pounds mixed  small crustaceans and Calamar or Squid ( shrimp, clams, mussels, crayfish etcetra )

4 tblsps Evoo

1 leek or spring onion or scallions finely chopped

1 pound juicy ripe red tomatoes

salt and black pepper to taste

1 glass ( 1/2 cup ) white wine ( preferably from Penedès, Barcelona or Spanish )

1 pound of short pasta of choice:

6 garlic cloves minced


The Picada:


2 tblsps Evoo

2 tlbsps blanched almonds

2 garlic cloves

2 tblsps chopped finely parsley

1 tblsp La Vera smoked chili pepper paprika ( Spanish )

1 tsp ground cinammon

1/4 tsp saffron threads ( put in bowl with hot water 115 farenheit degrees and let sit 15 mins. )

juice of 1 lemon and grated zest


1. rinse and wash the shellfish

2. heat 1 tblsp of Evoo in a roomy stewpot and sauté the onion

3. add the tomatoes after peeling and de-seeding; and let it simmer up and then, mash the tomatoes with a fork to make sauce

4. add the rinsed clean shellfish and wine and 6 cups fresh chilled water

5. bring to a boil and let simmer 1/2 hour

6. push through a sieve or strainer and pour 8 cups of the tomato stock back into the pot




1. heat oil in a small sauté pan and sauté the almonds and the garlic cloves until golden

2. then add the chopped parsley and the spices and let them sauté for 1 to 2 mins.

3. tip the contents of the pan into a mortar and pound these ingredients into a paste with the lemon juice and the zest

4. Transfer the paste into the Food Processor or Blender

5. Give it a quick " mixing"


1. heat a 6 or 8 person Pallera Pan making sure that the entire bottom of the pan is in contact with the heat

2. add the remaining Evoo, and turn heat down to simmer

3. add the cracked garlic cloves and the pasta noodles or pasta

4. sauté over gentle heat constantly until noodles have turned a rich golden tone

5.  add the reserved tomato broth and add the Picada

6. bring to boil and then turn down heat and simmer 15 mins.

7. taste test and add more broth if the noodles are a bit chewy and readjust salt and blk pepper

8. place the shellfish in the pan and cook until the shells have opened and noodles perfectly tender yet firm to bite

9. simmer until the juices have evaporated - another 5 mins.


*** serve with crusty oven warm bread and a Bottle of good white wine or Cava Sparkling Wine from Sant Sadurní d´Anoia, Barcelona ( available in the USA and Californian Cavas are a designation of Spanish owned corporations )





( Margaux Cintrano.)