Sometimes we don’t have time to create a proper sofrito, but we still want the pleasure of paella and the prized socarrat. So instead, we can sauté diced onion and add ketchup—yes, you read that right. Ketchup works perfectly here—it’s already cooked down and intensely flavored, and has both the sweetness and acidity that a sofrito takes 40 minutes to achieve.
Use chicken stock for the best flavor, or vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian, or even water. If you’re using