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Catalan Pasta (Fideus A La Catalana)

ingredients

serves 4
4 tablespoons olive oil
350 g pork spareribs, chopped into 4 cm pieces, then sprinkled with salt
200 g fresh spicy pork sausages (not chorizo), cut into 2 cm lengths
250 g fideos pasta or Jewish vermicelli
600 ml chicken stock, preferably homemade
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

sofregit (sofrito)

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika (pimenton dulce)

picada

1 thick slice of country bread, fried in olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
40 g pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
a paella pan, shallow casserole or other ovenproof pan, 20 - 25 cm diameter

method

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a paella pan, shallow heatproof casserole or frying pan with ovenproof handle. Add the spareribs and sausages, fry for 3 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate. Wipe the pan clean and heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of the oil, add the pasta and fry over high heat for about 4 minutes until evenly golden. Transfer to a bowl.

2. To make the sofregit, heat the 4 tablespoons oil in the same pan, add the onions and garlic and fry for 5 minutes over low heat. Increase the heat, add the tomatoes, then cook for about 3 minutes until thickened. Stir in the paprika.

3. Add the ribs and sausages and push them down into the tomatoes, add the stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Fold in the crisp pasta.

4. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C (375°F) Gas 5 for 5 minutes. Stir in 400 ml boiling water and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Push the crisp noodles from the top under the liquid and bake for another 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, to make the picada, cut the fried bread into pieces and put in a small processor with the garlic, pine nuts and parsley, and pulse to form a paste. Loosen with about 4 tablespoons boiling water, then fold into the pan of pasta.

6. Set the pan under a preheated grill about 20 cm from the heat for about 5 minutes just to crisp the top a little (don't let it burn). Serve from the pan.

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