I heard about a recipe from a friend at work called fideos – a Spanish-style noodle dish. I thought it sounded nice, so I tried making it at home, and of course, threw in my own flair. A note about this recipe – I made this dish slightly different from traditional than fideos because I didn’t toast my pasta – you’re supposed to break up the spaghetti into little pieces and then toast them in the pan with olive oil as if you’re toasting rice for risotto.
So, my recipe has a lot added to it. Again, as with all my recipes – feel free to change it around. This is supposed to serve two, generously.
1/2 box of the spaghetti of your choice – for health reasons, I eat whole wheat pasta – I also found a brand of vegetable spaghetti which is very good. Cook according to the package’s direction, but always shave off a minute or so because you don’t want your pasta to be too soft and you’re going to cook the pasta later with the sauce.
1 tin of sardines, packed in water – drained and rinsed.
1 small tin of olives – rinsed.
1/2 cup of frozen peas, thawed
A generous handful of chili powder (the kind marketed for tacos – with cumin).
4 oz of mushrooms, chopped finely
1/2 white onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 – 2 cups of the cooking water from your pasta.
A handful of kale
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet – but remember to shave off about a minute or so – you want the pasta to be toothy and firm. Reserve about a cup or so of the cooking water.
In a large skilled heat some oil and throw in the chili powder and let the heat bloom the spices in the chili powder – it’ll get very fragrant. Then drop in the onions and garlic and stir, coating the onion in the chili powder paste and mix and cook, letting the onion soften. Throw in the mushrooms and stir, letting the mushrooms make a fond on the bottom of the pan. Add a little bit of the cooking water – a little bit, and stir immediately and mix, loosening the fond and then add a bit more of the water and stir, and stir, letting the water evaporate a bit and add more until you pour about a cup and a half of the cooking water and stir. Wait until the water has reduced and it’s become syrupy. Add the pasta and stir constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the peas, kale, sardines and olives and cook for another five, ten minutes, letting the pasta soak up the rest of the water – there shouldn’t be much water – just a thick syrup, flavored by the vegetables. Keep on heat until the kale’s wilted. Grind some fresh pepper. Serve immediately. Oh, and enjoy.