Fideos Con Almejas y Jamon

Fideos Con Almejas y Jamon

This is a Spanish dish. The recipe is similar to paella except that it uses pasta instead of rice.  Fideos are very fine vermicelli.  Supermarkets with good Latino food sections carry it in 7-oz packages at very cheap prices (about $.50 a bag).  If you can’t find fideos, substitute angel hair pasta.  The pasta is toasted to give it a nice brown color and the dish a smoky taste.  It can be messy cutting it into small pieces so dump the pasta into a large clean paper bag and snip away inside the bag.  Then pour the contents onto the cookie sheet as discussed below.

  • 7 oz dried videos vermicelli or angel hair pasta
  • ½ cup peeled and chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup peppers, cut into strips (I used ½ bag frozen multi-colored peppers from Trader Joes)
  • 2 4-oz cans sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock or combined chicken stock and clam liquid (see below)
  • 1 generous pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ pound cooked ham, diced
  • 12 oz precooked whole baby clam meat (if canned, drain the liquid and add it to chicken stock to make 4 cups) also available frozen, especially in Asian grocery stores
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • Ground Cayenne pepper or paprika (the former if you like spicy food)

Using kitchen scissors, snip the fideos inside a large paper bag into 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces.  Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and pour the fideos on the sheet, spreading them  into an even layer.  Spray the top with non-stick cooking spray.  Put the tray in an oven set to 350 degrees.  They will toast quickly, so check them after 5 minutes and then check them frequently.  Remove them when they are a nice toasty brown and transfer them onto a cool surface to cool.

While fideos are toasting, bring the stock with the saffron threads to a boil in a saucepan.  Prepare vegetables.  After removing fideos from the oven, in a very wide skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and peppers.  Saute for about one minute, then add the boiling stock all at once.  Make sure the stock is still boiling and then add toasted fideos, oregano and ham.  Stir frequently until the liquid is almost entirely absorbed.  Add the drained clam meat and peas and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until just heated through.  Garnish with cayenne or paprika to taste.  Makes 6 servings.

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