Noodle Paella

In Spain, there’s paella made with rice, and then there’s paella made with noodles, which I love. This is my simpler, lighter take, which keeps the fun of the traditional version but makes it doable at home on a weeknight, even. Chicken-apple sausage adds protein and a bit of sweetness and it doesn’t dry out. The saffron, smoked paprika, clams, and shrimp preserve the spirit of paella.



6 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilextra-virgin olive oil3
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch pieceschicken(s)1
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus extra for seasoningkosher salt¾
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus extra for seasoning freshly ground black pepper¾
1 medium fennel bulb, choppedfennel bulb1
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, dicedred bell pepper1
1 small onion, choppedonion1
6 large garlic cloves, thinly slicedgarlic clove6
3 (8-ounce) bottles clam juiceclam juice3
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juicecan diced tomatoes1
3 dried bay leavesbay leaf, dried3
1 teaspoon smoked paprikasmoked paprika1
¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron saffron threads¼
1/8 teaspoon cayenne peppercayenne pepper1/8
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieceswhole wheat spaghetti8
12 small little neck clams, scrubbedclams12
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveinedshrimp, large12
⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsleyflat-leaf parsley


In a 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the chicken is almost cooked through and no longer pink on the outside, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a medium bowl.

Add the fennel, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, the tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, paprika, saffron, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the spaghetti and cook, uncovered, until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the clams and shrimp. Cover and cook until the clams open and the shrimp are pink and cooked through; 4 to 5 minutes (discard any unopened clams). Remove the bay leaves and discard. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix in the parsley and serve.


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