With the smoky paprika and subtle earthy flavors of saffron, anyone eating this paella will be looking for seconds. It’s a delightfully cozy dish and easy to make ahead for a crowd. Serve with crusty bread, a dish of roasted Spanish olives, and roasted peppers; finish with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil.
Paella can be made with most types of rice, but for best results, “bomba” rice is the ideal way to go. It has the ability to absorb plenty of liquid and will hold its shape after cooking. Otherwise, spring for arborio rice, typically used for making risotto but works well for paella too.
When rice mixture is cooked, remove from heat and cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to a day or overnight. To finish cooking, transfer to an oven-safe dish with a tight-fitting lid. Heat in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Add chickpeas, asparagus and prawns and continue to heat in oven, covered, until piping hot. Add more seasonings, to taste, and garnish before serving.