Daniel Olivella's Fideuà (Fideo Noodle Paella)

October 22, 2018
3 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Reprinted from Catalan Food: Culture & Flavors from the Mediterranean. Copyright © 2018 by Daniel Olivella and Caroline Wright. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Fideuà is similar to paella, but it is made with short toasted noodles called fideus, which you can find at Hispanic markets. You can also toast the noodles yourself as described here. The dish starts on the stovetop just like paella, but then it is finished in the oven. You can tell it is done when you look into the oven and the noodles are standing up—or trempant, as we say in Catalan, meaning “with an erection.” —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: A Catalan Dish for My Country, 43 Years After the Spanish Dictatorship. —The Editors

  • Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 to share
  • 4 ounces store-bought toasted fideus or vermicelli pasta
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups store-bought fish stock
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons fresh curly parsley leaves
  • 2 ounces firm white fish, such as monkfish or snapper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces cuttlefish or squid steaks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup squid bodies, sliced into rings and tentacles
  • 1/4 cup store-bought sofrito
  • 1/2 teaspoon caramelized onions (see:
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium shrimp (21/25 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 4 medium shrimp (21/25 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 2 tablespoons frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought aioli, for serving
  • 4 small lemon wedges, for serving
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. If you use vermicelli pasta, use your hands to break the pasta into 1-inch pieces over a large sheet pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the pasta or fideus and toss to coat it well. Shake the noodles into a single layer, then toast in the oven until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice for even browning. Remove and let cool completely. This step can be done a day or two ahead.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
  4. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile, make a picada by mashing the garlic and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt to a fine paste in a mortar with a pestle. Gradually add in the parsley, mashing each addition completely before adding more, until you have a green paste. Stir in ½ tablespoon of the olive oil and set aside.
  6. In a 12-inch paella pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the fish, cuttlefish, and squid. Cook until the fish begins to shrink and turn opaque, 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Stir in the toasted noodles until they are shiny with oil.
  7. Add the picada, sofrito, caramelized onions, paprika, black pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add about 3 cups of warm stock to the pan, shaking it to settle and loosen any noodle clusters as the stock begins to boil. Only shake the noodles at this point; if stirred, they will become sticky.
  8. Simmer the fideos over medium heat until some stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Test the noodles for doneness—they should be about halfway cooked by now. If the noodles no longer have room to swim, add about 1 cup more stock. Continue to simmer the fideuà until only a thin layer of stock rests on top, up to 10 minutes more.
  9. Bury the shrimp throughout the noodles and scatter the peas over the top. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the shrimp turn pink, all the stock has evaporated, and the crispy noodles stand up in the pan, 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Spoon the allioli onto the center of the noodles. Serve at the center of the table with spoons for guests to serve themselves and lemon wedges for squeezing. Stir the aioli into the noodles only after the dish is on the table.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SeleneC
  • MadelMar Freire Morales
    MadelMar Freire Morales
  • Kristel Mai Ingalls
    Kristel Mai Ingalls
  • mikeficus
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4 Reviews

SeleneC March 7, 2020
My house smells amazing! I did double vermicelli, so needed 2 cups more stock, 1/3 of sofrito and 3 times garlic (just cuz I love it). A keeper!
The 1/2 tablespoon of onion, I agree it seems quite random. My sofrito was actually some Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce + red pepper; and I think that's just enough sweetness. If I had some caramelized onions around I would sure use; but making from scratch for this? sorry not sorry.
Important: After taking from oven, keep covered 10-15 min before serving so the juices stabilize.
MadelMar F. October 25, 2019

Fideuà is not Catalan food, it is Valencian food (as paella). It comes from a city called Gandia. =)
Kristel M. January 18, 2020
How do you know that you are correct and that she is wrong? Isn’t it just as likely that she is correct and you were wrong? Probably best not to correct somebody that’s leaving us a beautiful recipe. If you have to say something maybe just say thank you. I believe that would be the polite thing to do.
mikeficus November 4, 2018
1/2 teaspoon caramelized onions? That can't be right.