I recently saw a recipe in a local paper and was curious about fideos — I had a ‘need to know’ moment.
In the recipe I found fideos was defined simply as a method for cooking thin pasta such as capellini or angel hair dry (or actually in a little olive oil) and then finish cooking in liquid.
As I looked for more recipes I found that fideos actually refers to a type of noodle – that would be a very thin vermicelli noodle – or the more familiar capellini (which means thin hair) or angel hair pasta.
The history of fideos dates back centuries and is popular in a variety of Spanish and Mexican dishes. I’ve had traditional Paella with both rice and pasta and never knew that the pasta in the paella was called fideos.
Now I was haunted by fideos and I had to make it. Since I didn’t have any of the ingredients listed in the recipe I used leftover steak and other ingredients I did have. It’s a very easy prep and cooking method done all in one pan and dinner is ready in 15 minutes.
- 2-3 chicken breasts or thighs cut into chunks (OR use Leftovers)
- 8 oz. mushrooms cut into quarters
- 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half & remove seeds
- 1 small onion chopped (or shallots)
- 1 glove garlic chopped
- ¼ chopped parsley
- ½ lb. spaghetti, break into thirds (or use your favorite shape pasta)
- 2 TBLS. olive oil
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup white wine (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- If you are using 'Leftovers' have them ready & set aside.
- Heat a large saute pan and add the olive oil and if using chicken saute them for a few minutes on each side, approx 3-4 minutes with the onion and garlic.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and add in the dry spaghetti with the onions and garlic.
- Cook the spaghetti until it's lightly browned, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minutes.
- Now add in the stock and cook for a few minutes - just until the pasta starts to bend without breaking. Then add in the chicken, all the tomatoes, mushrooms, (or add in leftovers if using) and stir well, cover and continue to cook until the chicken and pasta are cooked - approx. 5-8 minutes)
- Add in the wine if using, add the chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste, stirring well to blend all the ingredients. Simmer another 2-3 minutes and serve.
I also made this recipe with leftover steak – I sliced it thin and added it to the pan just to heat through. I even used different pasta ‘noodles’. There was no difference in the cooking method or the outcome of the dish.
This is such an easy and quick recipe you can put together any night of the week using whatever you have in your fridge. Use any leftover protein – steak, fish, chicken, pork – and add it to the pan for the last 3 minutes just to heat it up. Or make it vegetarian and cut up the veggies you have and add vegetable stock.