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The Paella Challenge Returns to the Pearl March 15.

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The sixth annual Corona Paella Challenge, hosted by La Gloria’s chef Johnny Hernandez returns to Pearl on March 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Corona Paella Challenge is March 15.

The Corona Paella Challenge is March 15.

The celebration happens rain or shine (as folks who remember last year’s cold but cozy gathering already know) and will showcase the delicious food and wine of Spain, traditional sangria, a variety of craft and imported beers, and live entertainment perfect for the entire family. Presale tickets to the event are $65. Admission for individuals under 21 years of age is $25. Tickets can be purchased at and will also be available for $75 at the door, if the event is not sold out.

Can’t wait until the competition for some paella? Make your own. You don’t need a fancy paella pan. You don’t even need rice, as this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis demonstrates. There are a lot of ingredients, but the dish comes together easily and the flavors will win you over to pasta in your paella.

Noodle Paella

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 sweet Italian sausages, casing removed (about 12 ounces)
1 skinless boneless chicken breast (about 6 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced
3 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon finely crumbled stem saffron
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 Turkish bay leaves
8 ounces spaghetti, broken into 1-inch lengths
8 ounces halibut fillet, cut into eight 1-inch cubes
12 small littleneck clams, scrubbed
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Add the sausages and stir, breaking up the sausages into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken and sausage to a medium bowl, using a slotted spoon.

Add the garlic, fennel, onion, bell pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes with juices, paprika, saffron, cayenne and bay leaves. Add the spaghetti and cook, uncovered, until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Return the chicken and sausage to the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the halibut, clams and shrimp. Cover and cook until the clams open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Remove the cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until fish, shrimp and chicken are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the parsley and serve.

From Giada De Laurentiis/Food Network


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