Vermicelli (*pronounced verm-i-CHELL-ee) is one of my mother’s signature dishes. In fact, all one has to do is say the word – vermicelli – around here and eyes light up and hearts warm to the very idea. Also known as “Sopa de Fideos”, this dish is made with vermicelli pasta, a pasta much thinner than spaghetti, that is sold in twirled nests, also called “angel hair nests”. (I think you can buy straight vermicelli, but this dish calls for the kind that is twirled into nests.) The dish can be used as an alternative to Spanish Rice in accompanying a meal. The trick to a great vermicelli is the chicken broth. We’ve used bouillon, boxed broth, and homemade broth; the homemade broth version is miles ahead of the others. (Isn’t it always?)
- 1/2 lb vermicelli (angel hair nests). Vermicelli usually comes in 1 lb packages, so about 1/2 a package.
- 1/2 cup olive or grape seed oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
1 In a 9-inch frying pan (with lid), fry the vermicelli on both sides in hot oil until golden brown in color. Remove from pan.
2 In the same oil, brown the minced onion, add the chopped tomato. Add chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3 When broth is boiling, add vermicelli and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the vermicelli has soaked up the liquid, about 30 minutes.