In Spain and Mexico, this style of soup is called fideos ("thin noodle") and can be very brothy, like this version, or almost dry (the dry version is called sopa seca). Toasting the pasta gives it richness and a nice chew. This recipe is a good choice if you have a lot of family visiting during the holidays, since it doesn't suffer from being doubled or even tripled.
Sunset NOVEMBER 2011
1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large wide pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, covered, until starting to soften, 5 minutes. Add pasta and more oil if it looks dry, then toast over medium-high heat, turning constantly with tongs, until golden. Add garlic and saffron (if using), tomatoes and tomato paste, sausages, and broth.
2. Boil pasta in soup, uncovered, until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add shrimp and cook just until pink and curled, about 1 minute. Season with salt to taste and stir in parsley.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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