Fideuà — The Pride of Spanish CuisineVIEW ALL POSTS
We offer you our version of the meal, which is one of the points of pride of Spanish cuisine: fideuà ! Catch the recipe and spoil your close ones!
- Difficulty: difficult
- Preparation: 120 min
- Cooking: 60 min
- Serves: 6 people
- Cost: average
Are you ready to be catapulted through the sunny Spanish streets, intoxicated by the scent of the sea, and taste delicious dishes? Today we take you to Valencia, precisely in the coastal area of Gandia, and we offer you our version of the meal, which is one of the points of pride of Spanish cuisine: fideuà! It is a recipe that will surely remind you of the famous and beloved paella, in which rice is replaced by fideos, a sort of short and thin spaghetti. Lovers of seafood dishes will be conquered by the fideuà, so rich and tasty, an explosion of colors and flavors, delicious and with an intoxicating aroma. We have chosen redfish, mussels, clams, prawns and cuttlefish, but ... not only fish but also excellent vegetables: peppers, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes, which give a touch of freshness and color to this dish, in which land and sea meet in a riot of irresistible flavors! The fideuà is perfect for your summer lunches or dinners with a merry atmosphere, in fact, it is customary to serve it in the large pan in which it is cooked: in this way, everyone is free to take a bite!
- Spaghetti 11 oz
- Mussels 17 oz
- Clams 17 oz
- Cuttlefish 9 oz
- Redfish 17 oz
- Shrimp 9 oz
- Artichokes hearts 2
- Red peppers 2
- Cherry tomatoes 7 oz
- Parsley 1 tbsp
- Thyme 3 sprigs
- Garlic 2 cloves
- Shallot 1
- Fresh chili 1
- Saffron 2 sachets
- Extra virgin olive oil 1⁄4 cup + 2 tbsp
- Dry white wine 1⁄4 cup + 3 tbsp
- Black peppercorns to taste
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
How to prepare the fideua
To prepare the fideuà, start by cleaning the mussels: put them in a large bowl, rinse them well under running cold water. With the back of the blade of a knife, remove all the encrustations and barnacles (parasites that form on the shell) and remove the hairs (or byssus). With a ball of steel wool, rub the mussels vigorously to eliminate any impurities. At this point, put them in a pot over high heat and cover them with a lid: they will open in about 5 minutes.
Once ready, filter the water of the mussels with a strainer and set it aside, because it will be used for cooking the pasta. Peel them (remembering to keep some intact to add to the plate to decorate). Then move on to the clams: first check that they do not contain sand, beating them one by one on a cutting board on the side of the opening. If dark sand should come out, it means that the clams are to be thrown away. Then place them in a colander on a bowl and rinse them several times under running water until you no longer see sand in the pot.
Drain the clams well and pour them into a large pot: cover with a lid and light the fire: in this way, they will open due to heat. Turn off the heat immediately after the complete opening, in order not to compromise the tenderness of the seafood with cooking for too long. Drain the clams, peel them, and keep the cooking liquid. Then dedicate yourself to cleaning the cuttlefish: first, put on latex gloves. By pressing lightly with your fingers on the belly of the mollusk, try to locate the bone and, using a knife, make a transversal cut.
Once the bone has been removed, try to locate the ink pouch and, if it is present, pull it out very gently, taking it with your fingers but without crushing it, so as not to break it and thus avoid the ink leaking. Then separate the head from the body of the cuttlefish, holding it firmly with one hand and with the other pull out the tentacles.
Then eliminate the small internal appendages. Remove the skin, making a small incision, and pull it away with your hands. Remove the rostrum, i.e., the tooth or beak, positioned in the center of the tentacles, pressing with the thumbs on the part below the rostrum so as to push it upwards. With a small knife, also remove the eyes, cutting them circularly around the bulb.
Finally, cut the cuttlefish into strips and set it aside. Then continue with the cleaning of the prawns: remove the head, the carapace, and gently remove the intestines with a toothpick. Then clean the scorpionfish: open the belly of the fish with a knife or scissors and deprive it of the entrails.
Rinse it well, then get rid of the fins with scissors. Place it in a large pot with a clove of garlic, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns, then cover it with water, and cook over low heat, together with the scraps of fish.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the scorpionfish from the still intact water, let it cool down, filter the mixture obtained, and keep it aside. Then clean and cut the fish, and set the meat aside. Wash the peppers well under plenty of fresh running water and dry them with paper towels. Remove the upper part, then with a knife, remove the white filaments and the seeds that are inside; at this point, cut the pepper into strips. Then clean the artichokes: remove the harder outer leaves, going on to the softer ones. Remove the final part (which is the hardest one) and remove any thorns from the remaining portion of the stem, then remove the fibrous outer layer. Also remove the internal hair, or the beard of the artichoke, then reduce the hearts to strips.
Chop the shallot and the chili pepper and cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Put the oil in a paella or in a large pan and add the garlic (crushed, if you want to leave it, or whole, if you want to remove it after cooking).
Add the chopped shallots and the chili pepper, let them dry, then add the peppers, the artichokes, and the cuttlefish, and cook until the peppers are tender but still intact. Pour in the white wine, then add the cherry tomatoes, let them soften, and salt slightly.
Dilute the tomato paste in the liquid filtered from the mussels and clams, mix, and set aside.
Also, dilute the saffron with a little water and fish cooking liquid, mix, and set aside. Then add the tomato paste, and the diluted saffron, then weigh the spaghetti and begin to break them in a bowl, keeping a length of about an inch and pour them into the pan.
Cover it and cook the pasta as if it were a risotto, adding a little at a time, when needed, and stirring often. Five minutes before the end of the cooking of the spaghetti, add the prawns, and after two minutes the mussels, and the clams. Finally, add the meat of the redfish, season with salt, pepper, and let the cooking liquids dry. When the pasta is al dente, turn off the heat and serve your fideuà, garnishing with the whole mussels that you have kept aside!
Store the fideuà in a closed refrigerator in an airtight container for a maximum of 1 day. Freezing is not recommended.
Fideuà is a dish that can have many variations, especially in how you can use different fish. Instead of cuttlefish, you can use squid, and instead of redfish, you can choose other broth fish, such as sea bream, chickens, red mullet, or monkfish or scampi. To prepare the fideuà, we usually use the gramigna, a type of curved pierced spaghetti, but normal spaghetti, which we have broken up, is also fine. If you have a fish strip leftover, you can freeze it in ice trays or in small glasses and reuse it for other preparations, such as risotto or seafood dishes, where it can be useful!
Do you know that this recipe has distant origins? There is a legend that involves Spanish seamen: according to tradition, the dish was born in 1915. Joan Batiste Pascual of Safor, better known as Zabalo, came up with it. He cooked on a fishing boat and often made paella; the captain, however, a lover of rice, used to eat far more than his ration, forcing the other sailors to reduce their portions. To stop the captain's gluttony, Zabalo changed up one of the main ingredients of the paella, namely rice, and use pasta instead. Unfortunately for the crew, however, his plan did not work because the captain also loved this dish, but on the other hand, the recipe immediately became popular in Spanish restaurants and beyond!