- 3dried ñoras peppers or 1 dried ancho pepper
- 6-8fresh asparagus spears
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 1whole rabbit (about 2 1/2 lbs)
- 1medium onion, peeled and diced
- 5garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 1/2tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1cup white wine
- 1/2tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1tbsp tomate frito sauce
- 3cups rich chicken stock
- 2cups Calasparra paella rice
- 6-8artichoke hearts
- 2bay leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1sprig fresh rosemary (3-4 inch in length) or rosemary leaves, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Crusty bread for serving
In a small sauce pot, prepare the ñora peppers by pricking a few holes in the dried peppers and soaking them in a heatproof bowl with 1 cup boiling water for 30 minutes. Remove the peppers from the water, cut the peppers open, remove seeds and lay flat on a cutting board skin side down. With the back side of a knife or a spoon scrape the inside flesh away from the skins.
Using sharp kitchen shears or heavy chef’s knife, cut the rabbit into pieces through the bone. Cut the hind legs and front legs in half and the body lengthwise and then into 4-6 pieces.
Heat 4 tbsp of the olive oil in a 15-inch paella pan over a medium-high heat. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper and sauté until nicely golden on all sides. Remove rabbit aside to a plate.
Slice off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces. Add 1 cup water to a small pot and boil asparagus for 1-2 minutes or until bright green. Strain immediately and rinse with very cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the paella pan with oil used for the rabbit and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add the white wine, rosemary leaves, smoked paprika and the tomate frito, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and bay leaves. Add the rabbit pieces and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and season for salt and pepper.
Evenly distribute the rice into the pan, gently stirring around the rabbit pieces to combine. Arrange artichokes around the pan tucking them a little into the rice. Raise heat to medium–high and let simmer vigorously for 6 minutes, then scatter over the asparagus. Lower the heat and simmer gently for another 15 minutes. It is important to not stir the rice at this point. At the end of cooking, all the liquid should have been absorbed and the rice should be just tender.
Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a large sheet of foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with rosemary.
Serve warm with the lemon wedges, crusty bread and a Spanish white or rosé wine.