Picture this: you see a paella tray on the table. But then you glance down at your half-filled plate, and you realize you already got a serving of white rice to balance out everything else you got. You think “Too much carbs,” and you reluctantly skip the Spanish dish; hoping that you still have room for another round at the noche buena table. “Maybe I’ll get it then.”
Fid(euà) me the seafood.
But what if you don’t have to? What if you can have white rice and still taste the flavors you crave in a paella? Introducing the fideuà, a Catalan dish that’s very similar to paella, except it uses cut spaghetti-like pasta (“fideos“) instead of rice.
To be clear, fideuà isn’t necessarily a pasta dish in the traditional sense. Unlike Italian pasta, the spaghetti used in fideuà is first slightly toasted over oil, then cooked in small amounts of broth added gradually as it’s absorbed. The best part—you’ll often find pieces of pasta that are crisp, giving it a nice crunchy contrast in texture.
Serves: 4 people
Active time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
2 tbsp. olive oil
250g shrimp, heads removed
200g squid, cleaned and cut into rings
2 large white onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
500g spaghetti or angel hair pasta, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups fish stock or water
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Add oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add shrimp and squid, and cook until colored and cooked halfway, about 5 minutes.
Remove from skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the white onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute longer.
Add the pasta (and an additional tablespoon of olive oil, if needed) and toast until pasta is slightly translucent and beginning to color.
Add the stock then arrange the squid, shrimp, and clams over the fideua and turn the heat down to medium-low.
Cook until all liquid is absorbed and the pasta is cooked through and crisp on the bottom, shaking the pan often to avoid burning, about 15 minutes.
Serve garnished with plenty of parsley and slices of lemon.