I don’t know why but I’ve never got round to making a pasta paella. Since the Middle Ages along Spain’s Mediterranean coast thin fideo noodles have been instead of short grain rice and combined with local seafood to create pasta paella. I was finally prompted into action after watching David Chang of Momofuku online. He took the idea of pasta paella and combined it with the current craze for ramen noodles. It’s a very quick dish and very delicious. You can use a packet of instant noodles (without adding the flavourings) or buy better quality ramen noodles at an Asian grocery. You don’t need to be precise about quantities.
Ingredients (approx for 3)
Mussels, scrubbed and de-beaded (allow about 8 per person)
2-2½ cups chicken stock, hot
1 chorizo sausage, sliced
Ramen noodles (a serving for 2) or 1 packet instant noodles
2 tsps sweet paprika
3-4 spring onions, finely chopped
Allioli or aioli (see below)
Heat a little olive oil in a wide pot (I used an enamel Spanish mussel dish). Add the sliced chorizo and fry till browned. Add the mussels and cockles if using and a splash or two of the hot stock. Cover for a couple of minutes, shaking occasionally as the mussels start to open.
Add the rest of the stock and the paprika. If using good quality ramen noodles, break them in half and cook in boiling water for about 90 seconds, drain and refresh. Add these to the mussels. If using instant noodles, break these up directly into the mussel pot. Stir.
Once the noodles are soft and all mussels open, it’s ready. Sprinkle with spring onions and a dollop of allioli. Serve with extra allioli.
Allioli – like a very garlicly mayonnaise without the addition lemon juice
1 egg yolk
A neutral oil such as canola or rice bran oil
2-4 cloves garlic crushed (more if you like)
Salt and pepper
Whisk together the yolk, garlic and seasoning. Gradually add the oil as the mixture thickens. You can do this by hand or using a food processor.