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Really Easy Fideua! - Seafood Paella with Pasta
07 November 2019 @ 11:55

Making paella can be a daunting challenge for many, getting the proportion of water to rice right so it doesn’t stick and go soggy, managing to get an intense flavour and so on, but for others it can be just an impossible task because they can’t find the Valencian round rice if they live abroad and you can’t make a paella with any other rice and achieve a good result. So here is the solution - Fideua
 
Fideuá is a very typical Valencian dish made with seafood and pasta, and pasta is so much easier than rice! Anyone can cook pasta. So our only real challenge here is getting an intense flavour, which is really quite simple if you follow a couple of my tricks - tricks I learned from experts, I may add. So how do we make it?
 
Like any paella dish, the key is in the stock, the secret is to make a good fish and seafood stock which isn't difficult but it can be a hassle and this post is titled "Easy Fideua" so we are going to cheat in this area by using a ready-made seafood stock, and with a little help we will make a really tasty fideua with as little effort as possible. Trust me, if you don't tell anyone, they will never know! It's also great as you can have all the ingredients at home in the freezer and the cupboard anytime, always a great meal up your sleeve in case of a surprise visit!

So this is what you'll need:

 
Here are the ingredients you will need to make a Fideuá for 4 adults:

 

Fideuá:

I'm using a Paella Pan measuring 55 cm in diameter (48cm base), you can do it with a  smaller one too, but I prefer to have the pasta spread out and not too thick. You get better results as you can evaporate the stock quicker due to the larger surface area, thus get a more intense flavour before the pasta is cooked.
 

  • 500g of short pasta  - fideo medio here is an example :

  • 2 litres of Seafood Stock - ideally from Mercadona - (Caldo de Marisco para Paella y Fideua) - It has the highest concentration of seafood in it - more than other brands - ANETO is also very good, but more expensive.

        

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 pressed garlic cloves
  • 400g Flat green beans - Judias Planas - these are better fresh, but you can use the frozen ones too.

         

  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes - grated with a cheese grater.
  • 1 large brown onion finely diced
  • 2 tsp of paprika powder - 'Pimenton dulce'
  • A small pinch of Saffron - add this to the stock as it is heating up.
  • 8 large uncooked king size prawns  - "Gambon" - you can buy them frozen in Mercadona. These will cost about €3,5 euros at the most - defrost before cooking. This is what they look like in Mercadona:

          

  • 200 g Peeled King Prawn tails - Frozen -  in Mercadona - defrost before cooking

       

You can add more seafood if you want, but trust me, this is enough. 
 
• TIP: If you don’t like bits in your food remove the tentacles and the legs from the prawns before cooking them otherwise you will be picking them out of your Fideuá while you eat, as they fall off when you cook them.
 
     
 

Preparing the Fideuá:
 

  • Heat the stock and keep it warm until you need it - add the saffron to the stock
  • Add the olive oil to the paella pan - if it is level it will form a circle in the middle - keep adding until it is about a hands width from the edge of the pan about  11-12 cm
  • Heat the pan - if you are using a paella burner, just use just the centre gas ring at this stage.
  • When the oil is hot - not smoking - add all the prawns. Gently fry them on both sides for a few minutes. Remove the peeled prawns once they have changed colour and put to one side
  • Squash the heads of all the king prawns so they release their juice. Make sure it has all come out - this is key to a getting a good result.
  • Remove the king prawns and put to one side.
  • Add the green beans (chopped into approx 1-2 inch pieces) and saute the beans in the oil until they are starting to go soft and browned slightly - then push them out the edge of the pan.
  • Add the onions to the oil and gently fry them until they go transparent and slightly browned. Take your time, the slower they cook the more intense the flavour will be.
  • Push the onions to the outer edge of the paella pan with the beans so they won't cook any further.
  • Add the grated tomato to the centre of the pan and fry it. You can raise the heat a little - we want to evaporate the water from the tomato.
  • TIP - Once the water has evaporated from the tomato and we just have pulp add a little water to the tomato pulp and repeat the process. Do this a minimum of three times. This will help get a really intense fried tomato. During the second evaporation add the crushed garlic to the tomato pulp and during the last evaporation add the paprika to the tomato and garlic pulp.
  • Once the last evaporation is complete add all the pasta to the pan and fry the pasta in with the onions and the tomato. Do this for a minute or so and then add a couple of ladles of hot stock - make sure the stock is hot before you add it to the paella pan and the all the gas rings have been turned on and on medium heat.
  • Spread the pasta out evenly across the pan and make sure you have enough stock in the pan to reach the edges and so that all the pasta is in stock - but not being totally covered by it. 
  • We will be adding the stock little by little to ensure we don't overcook the pasta. Our aim is to use all the stock - 2 litres - so at the beginning, you will want a high heat to evaporate the stock quickly before it cooks all the pasta - this way the flavours will be more intense - the more stock evaporated, the stronger the flavour.
  • Keep adding the stock and evaporating until you feel you can add all of what is left - make sure that the past is not sticking to the bottom of the pan yet - if it is, it is too hot. We want that to happen towards the end.
  • If you notice the pasta is almost cooked, place the king prawns and the peeled prawns back into the paella pan in a decorative circle, crank up the heat to evaporate the remaining stock quickly - this will be a bit of trial and error until you work out your temperatures with the burner - but its not difficult.
  • When all the stock has evaporated lower the heat and let it toast the bottom of the pasta be careful not to burn it. You can test this with a fork. Stick a fork in and touch the bottom of the pan push back and forth gently to see if the past moves - if it doesn't it is toasting and creating a delicious crust.
  • Once a crust has been made across all of the pan turn off the gas. Make sure you don’t burn it - keep smelling it - you will smell the pasta burning if you have gone too far.

All that is left to now is let it sit for a few minutes and serve!

Hopefully, it will look something like this... Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 



Like 1




3 Comments


jeffers45 said:
07 November 2019 @ 14:15

Great recipe Ian - I appreciate your precision and detail. I'll be doing that, although the ingredients aren't that easy to get here in south-west Scotland! I'll adapt where necessary. Can't wait to get back to Valencia province.


eos_ian said:
07 November 2019 @ 16:45

You are welcome, glad you enjoyed it. Happy cooking! In Scotland you might have to make your own seafood stock though...Good Luck and thanks for reading!


Therese said:
09 November 2019 @ 10:41

Thank you Ian great recipe, I will definitely be making this lovely dish. Lovely photos too. 💃🌴


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