I'm not sure I really get fiduea, a Spanish paella-type dish but made with pasta. Perhaps I didn't cook it correctly, though I followed the instructions of the recipe perfectly. It came out a bit... claggy. Fried first, as the noodles were simmering in the sauce forks were deployed to pull the noodles apart, as they weren't unravelling themselves. They started to catch, sticking to the bottom of the pan.
It was a starchy lump, sitting richly in the stomach. But I loved the Mexican flavours of the recipe I tried, so I was determined to make it again. I bastardised the hell out of it. Gone was the initial frying of the pasta in oil, and instead they were given a brief bath in water to release them from their coils. It's not traditional at all, but the flavours seemed more pronounced and it was an altogether lighter dish.
Mexican Crab Fiduea (adapted from Mexican Food Made Simple)
200gr angel hair (vermicelli) pasta
1 small onion, diced
2 large green chillis, seeds removed and sliced
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp capers
Pinch of ground allspice
1 dressed crab
To Serve: Sour cream, a handful of coriander and wedges of lime, plus 3 tbsp sweet chipotle paste
Sweet Chipotle Paste:
5 chipotles in adobo
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tsp fish sauce
In a large pan with a little oil, fry the onion and the chillis together for 10 minutes on a medium / low heat until soft and transparent. Add the tomatoes, capers and allspice plus the salt and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile make the chipotle paste; smash the garlic in a pestle and mortar with the lime zest and juice, then add the sugar and fish sauce incorporating well as you go.
Boil a large pan of water and add the pasta, unravelling the nests. Drain immediately, reserving a ladleful of pasta water as soon as they unravel.
Add the water to the tomato sauce and bring to the simmer. Add the pasta back in and cook until the noodles are soft. Serve, topping with a hefty tablespoon of crab meat (brown and white. Garnish with the sour cream and coriander and sweet chipotle paste. Serve with lime wedges.