Paella gets a lot of righteous love in the culinary world. Its delicious mix of concentrated flavor and balanced texture is lovely to enjoy, but hard to master, even with the right tools. Its noodle-based cousin fideuà (pronounced feed-ay-WAH) is every bit as yummy, easier to make, and in my humble opinion can be even more comforting than its rice-based relative. Especially this version, made with a mix of Ati Manel tinned squid and Conservas de Cambados silky cuttlefish ink and finished with bright pops of chorizo-inspired smoked paprika aioli. The perfect dish to make while ringing in The New Year: it’s fun, festive, vibrant, and made to be shared with people you love.
- 1x tin Ati Manel Squids in Ink
- 1x jar Conservas de Cambados Cuttlefish Ink
- 6x 8 oz bottles clam juice
- 1 cup elbow fideuà
- ½ yellow onion, minced
- ¼ cup + 2 tbs EVOO
- 1/3 cup neutral oil
- 1x egg yolk
- 2x large garlic cloves, minced
- juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tsp smoked paprika (plus more to taste)
- kosher salt, to taste
- sprig of parsley
- Add the clam juice and whole jar of cuttlefish ink to a large bowl and whisk until well combined. You can also do this by shaking each together in a large bottle.
- Heat a 13-inch paella pan or cast-iron skillet over medium and add 2 tbs of EVOO. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until sweated and translucent. Season with a small pinch of salt. Add the fideuà and stir to combine, toasting for about 1-2 minutes. Open the tin of squid and ogle its beauty. Then empty into the pan and stir until well-combined.
- Turn the pan up to high and add all of the inky clam juice. Gently stir until the noodles and squid are uniformly distributed in the pan. It will look like a lot of liquid. Note: this ratio will result in fideuà that ends up soft but not mushy, akin to boxed macaroni & cheese. For more al dente noodles, you can half the liquid and freeze the rest for future use.
- Bring the pan to a rolling boil and the lower the flame to medium-high. Cook continuously, giving it an occasional shake to loosen the noodles up so they spread evenly across the bottom.
- While the fideuà cooks, start making the smoked paprika aioli by adding the garlic, lemon juice, egg yolk, and pinch of salt to a flat-bottomed cup wide enough to accommodate a stick blender. Blend until smooth and airy. Continue blending while drizzling in the neutral oil until it emulsifies and a mayonnaise-like consistency begins to form. Repeat with the remaining EVOO. Stir in the smoked paprika one teaspoon at a time, adding more to your liking. Transfer to squeeze bottle or cover and set aside.
- Continue cooking the fideuà until essentially of the liquid has evaporated, turning the pan to low as needed to prevent burning. Turn the pan off only once bubbling becomes much less frequent and less audible, and the surface appears dry. Leave the fideuà on the stove for about 5 minutes before serving to allow a crispy socarrat to form on the bottom of the pan.
- Squeeze dots of smoked paprika aioli on top and garnish with parsley. Serve with more aioli tableside to your liking.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harrison Weinfeld aka The Sardinfluencer is a writer, a cook, and a tinned-fish fanatic who’s on a mission to bring sustainably-harvested and responsibly-farmed conserva into home kitchens around the world.