Nadia and Kaye Disaster Chef Pretend Paella Recipe

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Nadia and Kaye’s Pretend Paella, taken from their cookbook Disaster Chef, is the perfect replacement if you’re looking for an easier version of the classic Paella. Kaye says: ‘I wanted Nadia to devise me a recipe for something like a paella, but not a paella, because that would be far too much faff. There’s still a lot of chopping in this, but that’s what 10-year-olds are for. We wouldn’t want a new generation of Disaster Chefs, would we?’


  • 2–3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into 8
  • 3–6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 300g (10oz) basmati rice
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • 150ml (5fl oz) dry sherry or white wine
  • 400ml (14fl oz) hot fish stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 400g pack of frozen seafood mix
  • 100g (3½oz) frozen peas
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • handful of chopped parsley leaves, to serve


  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.

  • Add the onions and garlic, and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Nadia’s tip: Don’t let the onions get crispy

  • Add the tomatoes and stir.

  • Add the rice, saffron, and paprika (if using), and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the sherry or wine. Increase the heat to bring up to the bubble for 1 minute, stirring to burn off the alcohol, then reduce the heat to medium.

  • Add the stock and seafood mix, cover, and simmer very gently for 15 minutes over a low heat, or until the rice and fish are cooked. Add the peas 3 minutes before the end. Don’t stir.

  • When the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, you’re ready to go, with a good squeeze from the lemon wedges, and a flourish of chopped parsley.

    Credit: Nadia and Kaye Disaster Chef by Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams. Published by DK (£20).

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