Friday, February 20, 2009

Fideos in saffron-pimentón broth with mussels and linguiça

This is a variation on a dish I made awhile back, and though breaking up capellini to make a version of fideos seems more legit, I think the clams were a better addition than mussels. The problem with mussels (always) is that their thin shells buckle under the weight of their neighbors, and a good handful seem to be broken right out of the bag (this time, the nice fella at New Seasons even inspected each handful, but missed 6 or 7 that had little hairline cracks). Buttery littlenecks are just tougher. Oh well.

I sliced up the linguiça and some onions and browned them up in a little olive oil with some minced garlic. I threw in the broken capellini-as-fideos and stirred them around the savory, orange oil as one would for a risotto, then added about a cup of white wine, a crumbly pinch of saffron threads and a fingertip-sized bump of pimentón, a few pinches of kosher salt and some cracks of pepper. Dumped in the last jar of my home-canned Dr. Wyches Yellow orange heirloom toms and a rinse-out jarful of water, then covered and simmered for about 15 minutes. When the fideos were al dente, I tossed in the scrubbed and de-bearded mussels and reapplied the lid. Sprinkle copious chopped parsley and break open some baguette for soppage.

Serve with tiny tumblersful of cheap Tempranillo and the old tango records that you got for fifty cents at a yard sale years ago, yet are just now listening to for the first time.

31 comments:

peter said...

First!

I agree about the clams, but then you knew that already. And you totally beat me to the mussel post after all.

Elra said...

delicious, delicious meal. I love mussels, never thought of combining this with linguica, but sounds so good.
Cheers,
Elra

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

This looks really delicious! I made a fideos/clams/saffron dish some months back and we all loved it. I like the mussels too. They have a nice sweetness to them that probably goes well with the sausage.

Brooke said...

PASTA!!! You are really speakin' my language, though clams are always my mollusc of choice. Mussels are a bit too mushy for me. But still looks so, so good!

duodishes said...

Should we be ashamed foodies? Never heard of fideos, pimenton or Tempranillo! Gotta get more culture in our lives. :)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Oh my freaking goodness, Heather, that looks incredible. Shellfish and saffron - perfection.

MrOrph said...

Well you don't have to de-beard the clams, sooooo... that's good right there right?

Me, myself, personally? I'll have some of this with either mollusk, I think.

The Spiteful Chef said...

We made this today at school. Not the EXACT same, but damn close. Way to divine my class schedule, girly.

Foodycat said...

Yum! I hate bearding mussels, and I hated pre-prepared mussels that haven't been bearded properly, so I think clams are a much better idea.

Peter M said...

I hear ya on mussels breaking/cracking alongside the harder clams but mussels, dunno...more taste than clams me thinks and cheaper.

Regardless, I'd do a swan-dive into this dish.

Lo said...

I love me a good mussel. Better yet, a handful. This looks just swell, Heather. *slurp*

Bellini Valli said...

I always leave here salivating Heather.

Heather said...

Jube - You may be first, but I still win.

Elra - Shellfish with sausage is a great combo. Try it!

Susan - Oh goodness, long time no see! Mussels do have a special something, but you got it right with clams.

Brookie! - I think mussels are best just with buttery wine and garlic broth. Clams were made for this.

Chrystal - It's always a learning process for me, too. That's the fun!

Jenn - I bet saffron goes well with any of the gorgeous seafood you get in Florida. Lucky girl!

Don - Did you just make a pussy joke? I like the cut of your jib.

Kristie - You should just give me your money and let me teach you how to cook instead. I promise I won't make you cry. Much.

Alicia - Clams are really just much lower-maintenance. And they're so much sturdier. Next time!

El Greco - I'd give your dive a 10.

Lo - Thing is, even though the mussels are showier, the linguiça was really the star of this show.

Valli - Happy to oblige, my friend.

maggie said...

yum. for some reason I'm afraid of mussel-debearding. also, the last batch of mussels I cooked weren't that fresh-tasting. clams I love.

we are never full said...

FIRST BEFORE PETER!

hells to the yeah. this looks delish. we've made fidueos (fideos?)and i do like to finish mine off under the broiler to make a bit of a crust on that pasta. but, it's prob. better to take out the seafood at that point since it'll get even momre rubbery.

anyways, linguica? biznatch... you just topped my fideos recipe. why does the word "debearding make me laugh?

Brittany said...

I love both mussels and clams and would delighted by either in this dish...

BUT there is something about clams with Spanish flavors that especially tickles my g-spot.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

What do I want with 'tiny' tumblersful? Goddammit, I want a litre glass.

Your next task - pork 'n' clams.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

It's almost 3 pm, and I haven't eaten anything yet today, but I think I'm off to find a meatball sandwich followed by a trip to the butcher to pick up some linguiça

Emily said...

It took me a while to catch up on what you've making. This dish looks great, as well as the lychee one. I'm really craving a meatball sub, though. Not that I've had a meatball sub before, but now I want one. I bet it'd be great with the homemade sauce.

Manger La Ville said...

This looks intensely flavorful and delicious. I have never had a problem with the shells cracking. I get my mussels from Hog Island in SF, but manilla clams are just as delicious.

toni said...

ANY variation of linguine with clams is OK with me. I adore the sound of this - especially the final setting, complete with cheap Tempranillo and old tango records - Oh Yeah!

Ken Albala said...

I am with you all about preference for clams, bearded or otherwise. Mussels, unless impeccably fresh, can be just skanky. But this dish came together just beautifully.

Bromelacious! My new favorite word.

Pam said...

Oh, how I could eat a bowl full of this tasty dish. The mussels are calling my name.

matt wright said...

Completely, and utterly awesome. Spot on my kind of food.

Mussels are really tricky for that. I normally assume about a 10% wastage from my supplier, even after they have carefully picked through.

Clams are way easier to clean too, far less junk on them, but somehow mussels will still be my favorite.

Love the flavors in this dish.

Zen Chef said...

Makes me want to dig into it with my fingers and get all messy and stuff. I love total union with my food. :-) Looks really delicious!

Jude said...

Damn that looks good. I just might skip the fideos and go all bread on something like this. Sometimes I end up with bushels of crusty loaves for some reason.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This is the third of shellfish/pasta recipes I've seen in the past couple of days, and since it's a fave combo, it's definitely distracting me from work and other things I really must get to.

This just looks completely over the top.

In an excellent way.

Cynthia said...

I wish we got clams here.

kellypea said...

Oh jeez. I could park myself next to a plate of that all day long. Love mussels and the linquica makes it all so perfect. Nice.

Alex said...

There seems to be a lot of mussel coincidence occuring at the mo - I'm having them for supper too! But, er, I don't think they'llt look quite like yours. Shucks.

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, looks really delicious. Never thought of using saffron in this dish. Looks wonderful.