Valencian Seafood Noodles
Fideuà is a typical dish from the Valencia region of Spain which is similar to Paella Valenciana but is cooked with vermicelli-type noodles called ‘fideos’ rather than rice. Its origins date back to the early 20th century in the port town of Gandia which to this day hosts an annual Fideuà cooking festival called the Concurso Internacional de Fideuà de Gandia. Traditional recipes for Fideuà only include seafood although some restaurants may offer chicken or even vegetarian versions.
The focus of the dish is to create a strong flavour rather than packing the dish with too many ingredients. The measures given below are approximate so don’t get too worried about following the recipe exactly.
Serves 4 people
- 400g thin macaroni or noodles (in Spain you can buy ‘fideua’ pasta)
- 250 – 400g unpeeled, raw prawns
- 250 – 400g squid
- 300 – 400g of firm-fleshed fish fillets (eg. hake, monkfish) cut into bite sized pieces
- 8 unpeeled, king prawns
- 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly diced (or 200g of tinned chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- A pinch of saffron powder (or 1 teaspoon of yellow food coloring)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Olive oil
Put approximately 1.5 litres of water in a large pot and bring it to the boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, peel the prawns. You can find instructions on how to do this at the start of the book. Add the heads, shells and about 1 teaspoon of salt to the pan of water and boil gently for about 20 minutes. Use a colander to sieve out the shells which can now be disposed of leaving you with a pan of delicious stock.
Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to your paella pan or the frying pan that you are using and heat. Add the peeled prawns and fry for a couple of minutes. Take the prawns out and set them aside. In the same oil repeat this process for the fish and then for the squid.
Now put the garlic into the same pan and fry gently until it begins to change colour. Now add the paprika, saffron (or colouring) and tomatoes and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile bring your pot of stock back to the boil.
Add the pasta to the pan and stir well. Then add about 1 litre of the boiling stock. Let all of this cook gently for approximately 6 minutes (check cooking time on the packet of pasta you are using). Taste and add more salt if necessary at this stage. Add the fish, prawns and squid, stir well. If necessary add a little more of your stock. Place the 8 large prawns on top and allow to cook for a further 4 or 5 minutes.
Now turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes while it absorbs the last of the stock.