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fideos with octopus and saffron

An Iberian approach to pasta. Try this dish to discover another way to prepare it

ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 5 € pp)
  • Salt
  • 320 g “fideos gruesos” (if you cannot find use macaroni or cellentani)
  • 2 tbsp sofregit or onion soffritto
  • 1,5 litre fish or vegetable stock
  • EV olive oil
  • saffron threads
  • 300 g octopus
  • Chopped parsley

Iberian cooks use a different than the common technique to prepare pasta, which in Italy we find in spaghetti all´ assassina. The fideus, as these pastas are called, are first fried or roasted in the oven and then cooked in stock.

The Spanish fideus are not as thin as the Italian ones. Especially these ones that we use today (the gruesos) are like the well known macaroni, which are used for the famous American dish mac ´n cheese (eek).

Before starting the preparation, we check in the freezer if we have:

a) already made sofregit (as we always have to do). If not, we can find how to substitute it HERE or we just fry gently an onion and a garlic clove.

b) already home made stock. If we don´t have, we prepare a fast one (court bouillon), or we use plain water, but we NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use ready made ones. We heat the stock and we lightly salt it.

Then we prepare the octopus as we have already learnt HERE

Let´s start ………

We preheat our oven to the maximum temperature.

We heat a little oil in a large pan and we toss the pasta, turning it constantly to cover it with oil (it does not take much time, just 1 or 2 mins), until it gets a golden colour, being careful so that it does not get burnt.

We then add to the pan the sofregit, the saffron and when the preparation starts to thicken, we dilute it with stock. We let it boil, CONTINUOUSLY ADDING ladles of very hot stock, until the pasta is almost ready (less than al dente). The cooking times listed on the pasta packages are less than indicative, as the way they are prepared is completely different from that of ordinary pasta.

At this point, we add the octopus cut in pieces and we put the pan in the oven. We bake till the upper part of the fideus turns lightly brown and crispy.

We serve adding some chopped parsley for garnishing.


Published in PASTA