Red Fideuá



This is such a sensational supper dish and simplicity itself. It is a sort of paella but with broken spaghetti instead of rice.

Fideuà is a Valencian word, in Catalan it is Fideuada – from fideu, Catalan / Valencian for “noodle” – and it is a dish typical of  the Valencian region of Spain.

It originated in the 1920s in the city of Gandia (close to where we were on holiday this year – a very beautiful small coastal resort on the Costa Azahar) when thin noodles like vermicelli were used instead of rice in the popular dish paella. It can have all the usual culprits; chicken, prawns, rabbit etc but, like all great peasant dishes, it is perfect too for using leftovers, or as a make do dish from what you have in your store cupboard and fridge.

So, this is my version tonight!

I went for a red motif! I had san marzano tomatoes, red pepper, a red chilli and chorizo in the fridge so, along with 400 gm of dry spaghetti lingering in my pasta pot – fideuà it was.

I pan fried a sliced red onion, a deseeded and sliced red pepper and 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic in olive oil in one of my smaller paella pans for about ten minutes. But you could easily use a large frying pan or a sauté pan.

Then I added 100 gm of lardons and about 50 gm of chorizo sausage cut into small cubes, a finely chopped and deseeded red chilli and 6 san marzano toms quartered. I cooked this mix for a further ten minutes or so, added a sprinkle of smoked paprika, then a glass of white wine – about 125 ml.

Once the wine had reduced a little I added 500 ml of hot chicken stock. I fiddled with my Spotify tracks for a moment on my i phone, and then when the mix was all bubbling pleasantly I added     400 gm of broken up spaghetti. You need then to gently coax  the mixture round the pan for about 20 minutes until the spaghetti is al dente – you may need to add a little hot water along the way to keep it moist.

About 5 minutes from the end I stirred in a little saffron to give it a golden edge. The resultant dish was remarkable and delicious in the extreme.

My two teenage children were wowed – and they do not wow easily!