Paella is a Spanish rice dish loaded with ingredients that can range from seafood to vegetables. And don't be fooled by those bright yellow options served at your local restaurant. The real thing is darker, richer and dense than a typical rice dish. "A real paella is infused with smoky flavor, which is why traditional Spanish cooks almost always make the dish outside over a large fire," chef Seamus Mullen says. Those cooks also use a paellera—a shallow wide pan—and always start the dish off by sautéeing sofrito in oil. Once the rice is added, they leave it alone to cook without stirring. If you want to learn the traditional way to make paella, turn to Food & Wine's guide for recipes, tips and techniques.

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