Legend has it that this recipe was born out of necessity, when a fisherman wanted to cook paella with the fish he had just caught. Unfortunately, he discovered that he ran out of rice grains. Finding fideua (generic word for pasta) in the cupboard, decided to use that instead. The new found accidental recipe was embraced by all and now occupies a prominent place in the Catalan culinary repertoire.
My family enjoyed this dish so much that my son suggested that I post it here on the blog.
It is not at all hard to make, I discovered. The most work done is in making the fish stock _ time consuming but not laborious. As with paella, the taste of the dish depends on the quality of the fish stock used. I used prawn shells and fish heads to make the stock. I fried the prawn shells and heads in a bit of oil first before putting it in with the rest of the stock ingredients. Onions, carrots, celery, parsley all lead to a very tasty stock. Simmer for a few hours if you can and you will be rewarded with the best tasting flavour base for your fideua. Any combination of shell fish and fish can be used. I used squid and prawns but you can add mussels and clams (reduce the amount of squid and prawns if you do).
300 gms. of fine uncooked dry pasta, cut into 1 1/2" lengths
250 gms. raw squid, cleaned and cut into rings
250 gms. prawns, shelled and deveined (use the heads and shells for stock)
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used tinned tomatoes)
3 c. very good quality fish stock
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c. chopped parsley
4 tbsps. olive oil
1/2 each of sweet red and green pepper, cut into 1"x1" squares
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
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