Seafood with noodles

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From the Source - Spain: Spain's Most Authentic Recipes From the People That Know Them Best‘Sofrito, or sofregit, is one of the Catalan mother sauces, made from slow-cooked onions, tomatoes, and olive oil. It is the base of too many dishes to count, without countless recipes that begin with “first, make a sofregit”… Similar or equivalent sauces exist in almost all the Mediterranean cuisines.’

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 3 Hours
  • Cooking Time: 3 Hours


For the calamari sofrito and fideuà noodles
  • 3 heads garlic
  • 1½ lb (750 g) calamari, cleaned
  • 2½ fl oz (75 ml) olive oil
  • ½ oz (15 g) salt
  • 2¼ lb (1 kg) sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) tomatoes, peeled, seeded & finely chopped
  • 1¾ oz (50 g) ñora pepper pulp (if ñora is not available, use roasted red pepper)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
For the fideuà noodles and garlic-parsley picada
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2¾ oz (80 g) fideuà noodles (size no.1)
  • 2½ oz (75 g) parsley leaves
  • 7 fl oz (200 ml) olive oil
  • ½ oz (15 g) stale or fried bread
  • ½ oz (15 g) sliced garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
For the fideuà
  • 1 pt (600 ml) strong shellfish stock
  • 2¾ oz (80 g) toasted fideuà noodles
  • 1 oz (25 g) calamari sofrito
  • 0.33 oz (10–15 g) garlic-parsley picada
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • alioli, to serve
How to Make It
    For the calamari sofrito
  1. Wrap each garlic head in aluminium foil and bake at 175°C (350°F) until very soft. Set aside to cool slightly, then scrape out the pulp with a spoon and set aside.
  2. Chop the calamari bodies and tentacles in ½cm (¼in) cubes.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until smoking hot. Do not add any oil to the pan. Once the pan is hot, add all of the calamari at once and spread it out. It will start to sputter.
  4. Leave the calamari to char in the pan, without moving it. It will release liquid that will then evaporate and the squid will begin to toast on the sides. At this point you can scrape the pan with a metal scraper to move the calamari around.
  5. Once all the liquid in the pan is gone and the calamari is toasted on the edges, add the olive oil, salt, and onion.
  6. Lower heat to medium-low and cook until the onion is golden brown. Add the chopped tomato and cook over a low heat for 2 hours. If the mixture starts to dry out or catch on the bottom, add some more olive oil or water.
  7. Add the ñora pepper pulp and the garlic pulp and simmer for another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. For the fideuà noodles
  9. Crush the garlic and stir into the noodles.
  10. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 180°C (350°F), stirring every few minutes, until golden brown.
  11. For the garlic-parsley picada
  12. Place everything in a blender and process at high speed until smooth.
  13. To assemble the fideuà
  14. Bring the shellfish stock to simmer in a pan. Put the noodles in a 4 serving paella pan with the sofrito and heat over a medium heat for a minute or two.
  15. Pour in the stock all at once and cook over medium-high heat until almost all the liquid has been absorbed by the noodles.
  16. Stir in the picada, adjust the seasoning, then place in a hot oven for 1–2 minutes until the edges are toasted. Serve with alioli on the side.

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