Ditch the Paella go for the Fideua
Spain’s most renowned dish is obviously the Paella. While the Paella is undoubtedly a delicious dish as long as it’s not the manufactured versions that you get on La Ramblas and other touristy areas, there’s a similar dish that will send your palate into overdrive – the FIDEUA!
Fideua is made of short pasta instead of rice, which goes into Paella. The pasta gives the dish a very interesting texture and the primary ingredients used are different kinds of seafood.
Toasted pasta in saffron laced stock flavored with caramelized onions, tomatoes, garlic…and the show stoppers are the fruto del mar (fruits of the sea)! Immerse yourself into the once humble fideua the next time you’re in Spain!
- 1/2 lb. fish, such as tunny, halibut or shark
- 6 cups of fish or shrimp stock
- 1/2 lb. medium shrimp (20 to a pound)
- 1/2 lb. small clams
- 10 mussels
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 dry red pepper pods
- 1/2 lb. squid
- 1/2 large red pepper
- 1 lb. vermicelli or angel hair pasta
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 4 to 6 oz. virgin olive oil
salt to taste
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 8 Servings
To prepare this recipe you will need a 17-inch (44cm) paella pan. Due to the size of the pan, we recommend that you cook the fideua on a kettle BBQ or a gas paella burner for even heat distribution. Assemble all the ingredients and kitchen equipment on a table near the BBQ, so that you can stay in the area and monitor the cooking.
Be sure to light the coals about 20 minutes before you will begin cooking.
This allows time for the coals to heat and be covered in white ash.
Rinse shrimp, mussels and clams under cold running water and set aside.
Pour fish or shrimp stock into a medium saucepan and warm for use later.
Rinse fish under cold water and cut into 2-inch cubes. Clean the squid and trim the tentacles. Slice squid into rings.
De-seed and slice red pepper into thin strips. Cut each tomato into 8 pieces. Peel garlic cloves and place in a mortar and mash with the pestle.
Place the paella pan on the BBQ grate or paella burner and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and allow the pan to heat up. When hot enough, sauté the shrimp and squid in the olive oil.
Add olive oil as needed to prevent sticking. When the shrimp is pink, it is cooked. Remove shrimp and squid from the pan and set aside. Leave the oil in the pan.
Put the diced tomatoes, red pepper and mashed garlic in the olive oil with the two red pepper pods and sauté for two minutes.
Crush saffron threads with finders. Add the fish stock and saffron threads to the pan and stir.
Bring broth to a boil.
When liquid starts to boil, add the vermicelli and fish and stir. Spread the clams, mussels and squid around the pan and arrange the shrimp on top. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the pasta is “al dente.”
Remove the fideua from the barbecue or burner. Cover with aluminum foil and let it “rest” for 5 minutes. Uncover and serve with lemons.