Tomato Fideua

Tomato FideauFideua is a paella-like dish made with thin noodles called fideos. It used to be one of my dad’s specialities (and I think I always secretly like it more than paella).

I’ve developed my own version over the years, which I’m not even sure I should call “fideua” anymore, as mine are usually vegetarian and my method is a little different than the original. After cooking the noodles in the paella pan, I transfer the pan to a hot broiler and crisp up the top. I love the crispy texture on top combined the the soft noodles underneath. I even sometimes use angel hair pasta if fideos aren’t readily available, although I do generally prefer the texture of the fideos for this application.

When we were in New Hampshire the other weekend, Matt and I somehow churned out the best fideua we had ever made. We kept it incredibly simple, just sticking with a base of fresh tomatoes and onions. Looking back, I think there were two things that made that version so special.

  1. We used a combination of fresh, amazing heirloom tomatoes.
  2. We used a lot of them. Like, more than I thought would even fit in the pan. My mom had brought some from her garden, and Chris and Jim also had some from their garden that needed to be used. So we combined them all and went nuts.

While I don’t ever measure out ingredients or time anything when making fideua, I did want to be able to reproduce the one we made in New Hampshire. So last Sunday afternoon, armed with more heirloom tomatoes, we replicated it in my mom’s backyard.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Good thing my mom’s tomato garden is going strong!

Tomato Fideua

Tomato Fideua

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 5 tsp. spicy smoked paprika (but you can use sweet if you don’t want the heat)
  • 6 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 26 oz. fideua noodles or angel hair pasta
  • ~6 cups vegetable broth (but might be more or less depending on many factors), preferably homemade
  • Salt
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

Heat your grill over high heat (but you might want to go with medium-high if your grill gets extremely hot). Coat a 15″ paella pan with olive oil* and heat on the grill. Meanwhile, heat up the broth and keep it hot.

*Like the tomatoes, you’re going to want to use more olive oil than you think is necessary. Don’t worry, this feeds a lot of people…

Tomato Fideua

When the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan and season with salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft.

Tomato Fideua

When the onions are soft, add the garlic and saffron. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic starts to soften.

Tomato Fideua

Add the paprika and saute for about a minute, being careful not to let it burn.

Tomato Fideua

Add the tomatoes and season with more salt. Let them cook down for about 30 minutes, or until they get pasty and most of the water is gone.

Tomato Fideua

When the tomatoes are cooked down, add the noodles, crumbling them into the pan. Mix the noodles thoroughly with the tomato mixture.

Start adding the broth. I ended using about 6 cups total, but this amount totally depends on how watery your tomatoes are and what type of pasta you’re using. Start with about half that amount and add additional as the noodles are cooking, taste testing for doneness and seasoning along the way. Turn the heat down if the noodles start to burn on the bottom. Ours was finished in about 18 minutes, but that time does vary.

Tomato Fideua

When the noodles are cooked, transfer to a broiler set on high. Broil until the top is lightly crispy.

Tomato Fideua

Sprinkle parsley and flaky sea salt on top, and serve with lemon wedges and allioli.

Tomato Fideua

And don’t be shy about sneaking bites directly from the pan – that’s part of the fun!

Do you make any dishes that come out differently every time?

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  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    From the intense color of that alone I know it must be amazing! I’m going to set aside some heirlooms for this for sure!

  • yummychunklet

    This sounds and looks like a delicious dish!

  • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

    I’ve never heard of this dish before – and I LOVE paeilla- good to know about! now I want to try it!

  • DeliciousDish

    That looks incredible! I love the soft versus crunchy noodles too… and I LOVE all the tomatoes in here!

  • http://www.acambridgestory.com Emily

    Wow, so impressed that ou made fideu at home! I actually never realized the process and have only had it once at Oleana. This meal looks delicious!

  • Dara Reppucci

    I love this. I have no idea what Fideua is but now I am desperate to try it. Great job.

  • http://freefoodboston.wordpress.com/ Elizabeth

    This looks so good. I’m very impressed. I had a crazy good fideo dish at Oleana last year

  • http://twitter.com/findingclairity Clair J

    Ooooh!!! I am pinning this so hard. This.looks.incredible. Also love that it’s vegan.

    And your mom is super lucky to have all those gorgeous ‘maters coming out of her garden. I’m jealous!

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      I know, right? I’m lucky to be able to benefit from her garden!

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca Garcia

    I love the step by step instructions. This looks great! Whenever I make chili, it comes out differently every time 🙂



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