Fideo Seco is the not-so-famous cousin of Sopa de Fideo, or vermicelli soup. Fideo Seco has virtually the same flavor profile as the soup version but is normally a side dish rather than an actual soup. The end result creamy, almost risotto like, noodles bathed in spicy tomatoness, intermingled with tons of veggies.
Traditionally, fideo seco is topped with cheese, lots and lots of cheese but for this version I decided to skip it and boost the flavor by adding spices and a spicy tomato sauce called El Pato (it is a tomato sauce like no other, infused with chilies and spices). This dish is loaded with flavor and yumminess. It is one of those dishes that is hard to turn down.
WHAT YOU NEED:
– 1 7oz. bag of fideo (or any short-cut pasta);
– ½ onion, diced;
– ½ red bell pepper, diced;
-3 roma tomatoes, diced;
-1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced;
-2 cloves of garlic, chopped;
– ¼ cup of white wine;
-generous pinch of oregano;
-1 teaspoon of cumin;
-1 teaspoon of paprika;
-2-5 tablespoons of El Pato tomato sauce (keep it on the low end if you like it mild);
-2-3 cups of water or vegetable stock.
WHAT YOU DO:
In a large stock pot heat oil on medium heat. Once oil begins to shimmer throw fideo into pot and stir frequently being careful not burn. Cook until golden brown and opaque and fideo begins to smell nutty, about 5 minutes.
Scoop out the sautéed noodles and place on a plate. Wipe out the stock pot (in case there are any stragglers. Add about another tablespoon of oil and toss in the onion, bell peeper, tomatoes and zucchini and sauté for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and stir for another minute.
Next, place the fideo back in the stockpot. Add the wine, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt, tomato sauce and water or vegetable stock. Turn heat down to medium-low and cover for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
More liquid may be needed so keep it handy. Fideo is done when the noodles are tender and almost all the liquid is absorbed.
Pile on a plate and enjoy.