Fideos is both the name of a short, thin pasta and the word for a Spanish paella-like dish in which the pasta is first toasted in oil, then mixed with chorizo and smoked paprika, called pimenton, and simmered in stock with shellfish. (Mexican cooks make dishes with browned angel hair that are similar.) For this Spanish version, use chicken or fish stock, or make a simple shrimp-shell broth by cooking the shells in 5 cups of lightly salted water for 10 minutes; then strain.
|¾||pound angel hair pasta|
|4½||cups chicken, fish, or shrimp stock, or more if needed|
|4||tablespoons olive oil|
|2||ounces chorizo, cut into ¼-inch pieces|
|1||medium onion, chopped|
|2||cloves garlic, thinly sliced|
|1||teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (sweet or hot)|
|1||can (about 14 ounces) diced tomatoes|
|Salt, to taste|
|1¼||pounds medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined|
|3||tablespoons chopped fresh parsley|
|1||lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)|
1. Wrap the pasta in a kitchen towel and use a small skillet or rolling pin to pound it so it breaks into 1- to 1½-inch lengths.
2. In a medium saucepan bring the stock to a simmer.
3. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring and turning with tongs, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it turns golden brown, taking care that it does not burn. Transfer the pasta to a bowl; cool.
4. In the same skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until it renders its fat and browns. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the juices reduce and the mixture thickens.
5. Stir in the pasta. Raise the heat to high and add 2 cups of the hot stock. Stir to blend it in. Add 2 more cups of stock and stir gently. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the mixture is just simmering. Nestle the shrimp in the mixture. Simmer over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite and the shrimp are just cooked through. During cooking, add ½ to 1 cup more stock, a little at a time, if the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta isn’t cooked through. When the fideos is done there should be no excess liquid in the pan.
6. Taste the pasta for seasoning; add more salt, if you like, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve in shallow bowls with lemon. Lisa ZwirnLisa Zwirn can be reached at email@example.com.