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I spend a great deal of time away from home and in the field as a Sergeant with the Royal Australian Regiment. So when at home, I devote my spare time keeping up fitness at the gym, doing a spot of fishing and cooking meals for friends and family.

Born to an Italian father and Brazilian mother, the dishes I enjoy cooking reminds me of life growing up, always surrounded by good food. When cooking, I usually start with a good family recipe and experiment with new flavours to add my own little touch. I believe my family origins gave him a strong sense of kinship expressed through cooking and eating together. Although these days, my family is located all over Australia, they do get together for special occasions usually cooking together in the kitchen while drinking and laughing. These are serious family food festivities that, during breakfast, we plan with great passion what they will be cooking for lunch and dinner that day.

This is my take on the Spanish paella.

By Sgt Giancarlos Taraborrelli 




Serves 4-6 people (using a 360mm paella pan over moderate heat)


3 teaspoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic

100 grams of brown onion, diced

50 grams red capsicum, diced

50 grams green capsicum, diced

250 grams pork ribs cut lengthways

400 grams of chicken wings (end cut off and thrown away) cut at the knuckles

200 grams of marinara mix

300 grams green prawns

1 chorizo, diced

1 tin of diced tomatoes

4 cups arborio rice

Salt and pepper to taste

Spice mix to taste

1 teaspoon of saffron mixed into a cup of boiled water

2 cups of vegetable stock

100 grams of sliced green beans

8 fresh mussels, de-beared, cooked separate in a pan with oil garlic and parsley with squeezed fresh lemon




Place garlic, onion and capsicum and olive oil in a pan. Add chicken and pork. Cook over moderate heat for 15 minutes or until the chicken is nearly cooked.

Add chorizos, prawns and marinara mix. Add half of the spice mix. Cook until all the ingredients are cooked through.

Add tomatoes. Stir into mix, then add vegetable stock, green beans, salt and pepper. Pour two (2) cups of boiled water or enough to immerse the ingredients. Stir.

Add the rice. Stir in the rest of the spice mix. Once the rice is settled, add the saffron and mussels. You should do a little taste test to see if you need to add more spice.

Simmer and cover with foil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid stock has evaporated and the rice is cooked.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Squeeze fresh lemon over dish and garnish with parsley.


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