In a small bowl, pour hot water over the saffron. Set aside for at least fifteen minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Move a rack to the bottom third of your oven.
Heat the olive oil in a large paella pan or large oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for just two minutes. Add the shitake mushrooms and cook without stirring for about two minutes. Stir and cook for two more minutes or until just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for just one minute. Add the zucchini slices and continue cooking for three minutes.
Add the spices: paprika, smoked hot paprika, cayenne, thyme and bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir and cook to waken up the spice's flavors.
Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the white wine. Simmer until reduced to about half.
Add the vegetable broth and the saffron with the water. Stir gently and bring the pan to a simmer. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Arrange the artichoke halves around the perimeter of the pan. Then scatter the can of fire-roasted tomatoes over the top.
Transfer the pan to the bottom third of the oven. This will prevent the top from overcooking and will give you a desirable bottom crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
Scatter the peas, capers and the olives over the top. Continue baking the paella for 10 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Remove the bay leaves. Garnish with fresh parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Recipe by, Caroline Hurley, Taste Love and Nourish, www.tasteloveandnourish.com