Anita Donohoe

1 can Swanson’s beef broth
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic, sliced
pinch of oregano
three bay leaves
Put all above ingredients in a sauce pan and let it simmer while you get the rest started.

The rest:
approx half a cup of regular olive oil
pinch of salt
approx 1.5 cup diced onion
approx 1.5 cup diced bell pepper
approx 1.5 packages of cut fideos (if you can’t find cut fideos, you can substitute coiled vermicelli; just make sure you break it up.)

Use a very large frying pan with a lid or a big pot with a lid. Over a medium-high heat, stir the diced onions and bell peppers in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until the onions are translucent. Add the cut fideos (or the broken-up vermicelli) and stir it until every strand is coated with the olive oil, onions and peppers. This is the “browning” process, and it is a very important step.

Next, pour in some of the simmering sauce and stir it into the fideos. Then add a little more and mix it in. Add the rest of the sauce, mix well, cover the pan/pot and turn the heat down. Let it rest for 3 minutes, stir it again, replace the lid and turn the heat to low for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir again. If all the sauce has been evenly absorbed, it is ready.

Fideos can be eaten hot, cold or room temperature. Add salt at the table. Serve them as a side dish to accompany meat cooked over a wood fire. Add fresh garlic bread and a green salad and you’ll have trouble finding room for dessert.

It takes practice to get the fideos just right. I don’t measure any of the ingredients. Browning the fideos in olive oil and the constant stirring keeps them from clumping together in a sticky mess. If the outcome is too sticky, leave off the lid and keep stirring over a very low heat.

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