Welcome back! In today’s blog we are going to be talking about one of the most important parts of a paella. We have learned how to choose your pan and rice. Now it is time to discuss the bases. The base of your paella is the key to it’s taste. There are two main factors that you must take into account: the sofrito and the picada.
- Sofrito: gives the dish structure and adds flavor to the liquid. It is added at the beginning.
- Picada: gives the plate of food body and rounds out all of the flavor. It is added at the end to add balance to your dish.
Don’t worry if this doesn’t make much sense now. We’ll explain it in more detail.
Sofrito is a slow saute of vegetables that add aroma to the dish. It usually includes vegetables like onions, garlic, green or red peppers, and tomatoes. These ingredients are added in a certain order and cooked very slowly. The goal is to create a pasty texture that adds a sweet base to your paella.
Sofrito is sacred. It cannot be rushed. It is the most important part of making a paella, so never leave it unattended. If your sofrito begins to dry out, simply add some type of liquid to it. Water, broth, or even canned tomatoes work.
The picada are paella’s final touches. These include garlic, parsley leaves, nuts, etc. These are then stirred into the paella drawing all of the flavors together. Picada is usually pounded in a mortar to release it’s delicious flavors. A mortar gives you complete control over the texture of your picada, which is great when trying to get a very fine texture.