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Fideuá

Updated: Jul 27, 2020


Most of my American friends have never heard of a dish called “fideuá,” (Fee-day-ooh-ah). Like paella, it originated in Valencia, but it has become a quite popular and traditional dish throughout much of coastal Catalonia. Superficially it looks like a paella, but instead of being based on rice, it is made from fideos, the little pasta from where it gets its name.



In Spain, the fideos are usually straight, but for some reason I only see the curved ones in the USA. Regardless, either one works just as well. The important part, is that the size and “caliber” is right. You don't want the ultra-thin angel hair thickness.



Some people make fideuá in a paella pan, while others prefer to use a cazuela.


Rosa’s sister Joana, the celebrated fideuá maker in the family, uses a big cazuela, I usually use a paella pan mainly just because I enjoy cooking with one. You can use just about any wide, heavy-bottomed pan, if you don’t have either. The technique and details are far more important than the pan.


Fideuá is always served with a side of aioli in Catalonia. Diners mix in the aioli to their own portion to add a creamy richness. See the aioli recipe here.

You can use a mix of whatever seafood looks good at the moment. Many fideuás include fish, as well.

 

Ingredients (For a 15" or 38cm paella pan)

  • 1 lb fideos

  • Olive Oil for cooking

  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in small dice

  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

  • 3 or 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and cut in small dice

  • Pinch of pimentón de la vera (dulce), optional

  • ½ cup white wine

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 lb squid, cleaned, body cut into ½” wide rings, with tentacles kept whole

  • 1 lb clams or mussels, cleaned

  • Salt TT

  • 2 quarts shellfish stock or fish fumet


Instructions

1. Heat the cazuela or paella pan on a medium flame until hot. Add a generous amount of oil to the pan, then add the fideos. Cook, stirring regularly, until the fideos are thoroughly and evenly browned. Remove the toasted fideos from the pan and set aside. In Catalan this is called “rossejar” – to roast the fideos.





















2. Add the shrimp. Stir just to get some color on the shrimp. Do not cook all the way through. Remove shrimp and set aside.


3. Add oil if needed, then add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly until the onion is meltingly soft, but not browned. Add the tomato and another pinch of salt, the pimentón, if using, and continue cooking until the tomatoes have given up all their juices, and the sofrito is becoming almost a paste.

4. Stir in the toasted fideos, along with the wine, and cook until the wine is all absorbed. Add the stock to the pan and season with salt. When the stock comes up to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer.

When the liquid is mostly absorbed, check doneness of fideos. If they are not almost cooked through, add a little more liquid and continue to simmer.


5. When the liquid is mostly absorbed (pan is just about dry) and the fideos are almost done cooking, arrange the clams (hinge side down) around the pan followed by the calamari arranged on top, around the pan. Finally, arrange the shrimp on top, and place the pan in a preheated 400F oven for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes in the oven, the seafood should be cooked, and the liquid should all be gone from the fideuá. Let stand for 5 minutes out of the oven, then serve allowing diners to top their portions with aioli.

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