by Norman Van Aken | March 20, 2017

Pompano & Fideo Noodle Stew by 1921

Pompano & Fideo Noodle Stew with Rosa’s Two Way Tomato Sauce; Photography by Debi Harbin

Pompano & Fideo Noodle Stew with Rosa’s Two Way Tomato Sauce; Photography by Debi Harbin


Serves 4 to 6

Rosa’s Two Way Tomato Sauce

Yield: 3 cups
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fatty bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

PREPARATION: Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat and add bacon and oil. Cook until bacon is beginning to crisp and has given off some of its fat. Sauté garlic and shallot, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add sugar, stirring well and mashing it with a heavy wooden spoon to break it up. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add crushed red pepper. Stir briefly. Add vinegar and stir well to dissolve sugar. Add stock. Increase heat and bring to a high simmer, then cook until reduced by half or a bit more, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, including juice. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add basil and stir. Season with more salt and black pepper if needed. Serve warm, or let cool, cover and refrigerate.

Pompano & Fideo Noodle Stew

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 slices good bacon, cut into 1-inch    lengths
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, plus 2 cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, minced (seeds may be left in)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1  carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, cored and diced (3/4 cup)
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 pounds scrubbed and debearded mussels
  • 1 cup soft red wine, such as Merlot (or try Champagne)
  • 3 cups Rosa’s Two Way Tomato Sauce
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces loose, dry fideo (or vermicelli) noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 pounds skin-on pompano fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces (or try bass or another fish, removing skin)

PREPARATION: If fish fillets are thick, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large rondeau (or similar) pot, combine vegetable oil and bacon. Cook over medium heat until bacon is almost done. Add minced garlic, chili, onion, carrot and fennel and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mussels and wine. Turn up heat to medium-high. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook until mussels steam open, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove mussels and place in a colander set over a bowl. Discard any closed mussels. Put tomato sauce and pureed tomatoes in pot and remove from heat. Set sauce and mussels aside. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook fideo noodles in  1/2 cup olive oil. Toss and pull with tongs to shake noodles out of their bundles. Cook until nicely colored, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels for a moment, then stir noodles into tomato sauce mixture. Place over low heat and cook, covered, until noodles are soft to the bite. Add mussels and drained liquid, stirring to combine. Cover and keep on very low heat to avoid overcooking mussels.

Heat another sauté pan over medium heat and coat bottom with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add butter and increase heat to medium-high. Add sliced garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Add shrimp and fish. Cook until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. (Thicker fish, such as grouper, might take longer. Sear them first in the pan with the shrimp, then transfer to a baking sheet and finish in the oven.) Add shrimp and fish to stew. Season to taste. Stir gently. Heat stew over medium heat and serve hot.