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Fideua (braised seafood pasta) with alioli

Frank Camorra
Frank Camorra

Fideua is a braised pasta and seafood dish found in Catalunya in the north-eastern part of Spain. Instead of boiling the pasta Italian-style, the Catalan way is to cook it with a small amount of liquid in a wide earthenware cazuela or paella pan. I like to season the pan at the beginning by frying the calamari so it has some colour, then removing it before adding the onion. After adding the pasta, then the fish or shellfish broth, it's just a case of adding the seafood at the right time to make sure it doesn't overcook.

Not surprisingly, the Spanish cook pasta in a similar way to paella - braising it in a single pot with the other ingredients.
Not surprisingly, the Spanish cook pasta in a similar way to paella - braising it in a single pot with the other ingredients. Photo: Marcel Aucar

Ingredients

1 medium-sized calamari 

60ml extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1 brown onion, finely diced 

2 garlic cloves, finely diced  

2 bay leaves    

1 green capsicum, finely diced  

2 tomatoes, peeled and seeded 

1 pinch saffron threads  

300g spaghetti, broken into 3cm lengths 

1L fish stock, heated

100ml white wine   

6 green prawns   

100g clams, cleaned  

300g mussels  

2 tbsp chopped parsley

4 lemon wedges  


For alioli 

1 garlic clove

pinch sea salt flakes

2 egg yolks

2 tsp Dijon mustard

75ml extra virgin olive oil

75ml vegetable oil

salt and pepper

1 tbsp lemon juice

 

Method

For the pasta

1. Cut the calamari into 3 centimetre square pieces. In a 35-centimetre paella pan or large, heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat. Cook the calamari in the oil for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden brown, seasoning each side. Remove and set aside.

2. Make a soffritto in the same pan by frying the onions, garlic and bay leaves over a medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has browned. Add the capsicum and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes and saffron and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Once the tomatoes reach a jam-like consistency, add the spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Add the hot fish stock and wine. As the pan comes to a simmer, add the calamari and cook for 4 minutes. Add the prawns, clams and the mussels and cook until the shellfish open. You don't need to stir much, just push the mix around occasionally. Check for seasoning and scatter with parsley.

For alioli

Crush the garlic and salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Place in a bowl, add the yolks and mustard and gently whisk together. Combine the oils and while whisking continuously, drizzle them in gradually.

Keep whisking until the mixture firms. Check seasoning and mix in lemon juice. Chill until needed.

You can make the garlic mayo in a food processor if you don't have a mortar and pestle.

Serve with lemon wedges and alioli.

To serve: Add a dab of the garlicky alioli, the Spanish version of aioli, to each plate before serving.

Main ingredient:
Shellfish, Squid/Octopus, Pasta
Cuisine:
Spanish
Course:
Main-course, Dinner, Starter/Entree
Occasion:
Dinner Party, Father's Day, Easter

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