Purdue Paella

Preparation info
  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in
Charleston to Phnom Penh: A Cook's Journal

By John Martin Taylor

Published 2022

  • About

Mama’s recipe was recorded seventy years ago in the Deep South. A pinch of saffron, which she probably didn’t have access to then, is traditional. In Spain, the tomatoes are often grated rather than chopped. You can use Spanish paella rice if you can find it, but Mama didn’t. This is her version.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups


About 2½ hours before serving, preheat the oven to 325°F. Heat the olive oil in a paella pan (or large shallow flame-proof casserole dish) over medium heat, and add the celery and onion, cooking until the onion begins to become translucent. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan, cover