This recipe is out of Top Chef: The Cookbook. I have made it before, long, long ago and really loved it. It was still tasty this time too. My biggest problem that happened, then and now, was the pasta just didn't get done enough. Before, I used angle hair pasta as I couldn't find fideos, but this time, I spotted some in the store and thought I would try it again with the proper pasta and it will get done enough. Wrong. It was edible, and yummy at that, but seemed ill prepared. I don't think this is how it came out when made by the chef. And while I expect that they will make a dish much better than I could, I am perplexed as to how to work around this issue I keep having with out adding a lot more liquid and increasing the cooking time. So while I wholeheartedly recommend you make this dish, I just want to give you a heads up on what to expect. If you find the solution, please clue me in:)!
Fideos with Clams & Saffron
1 lb Fideos or Capellini Pasta
2 c Heavy Cream
1 tsp Saffron Threads, crumbled
1 c small cauliflower florettes
1 c small broccoli florettes
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1/2 c white wine
1 lb fresh medium clams, cleaned
Freshly Ground Pepper
Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Break the fideos into 3-inch pieces. Arrange the pieces in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, saffron, and salt to taste and place over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, whisking and watching the pot so the cream doesn’t boil over. Remove from the heat, stir in the cauliflower and broccoli, and set aside.
Preheat the broiler. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and garlic over low heat, stirring, until the garlic begins to soften and turn golden, about 15 minutes. Break the garlic up with the back of a wooden spoon, then add the wine, clams, and fideos. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cover the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes, shaking the pan, until the clams have opened. Discard any unopened clams. Stir in the cauliflower and cream mixture and remove from the heat.
Divide the clam and pasta mixture among 4 ovenproof dishes. Place the dishes in the oven and broil until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.