Chickpea and Swiss Chard Fideos with Orange Aioli
- SERVINGS: 8
Fideos (thin dried wheat noodles usually sold in coils) were introduced to Spain by the Moors and are used in Middle Eastern and Spanish dishes.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 large white onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium ancho chiles—stemmed, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound dried fideos or angel hair coils, broken into 2-inch lengths
- 1 1/4 pounds green Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves chopped
- One 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons of Orange Aioli
- In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables just start to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the coriander, fennel, cocoa, saffron and bay leaf; cook for 10 seconds. Increase the heat to high, add the tomatoes, ancho chiles and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
- Working in batches, puree the broth in a blender until smooth. Strain into a clean pot. Season the broth with salt and pepper and boil over high heat until reduced to just 8 cups.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pasta and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, 5 minutes. Stir in the Swiss chard by handfuls, adding more as it wilts. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is almost tender and most of the broth has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, until heated through and the broth has been almost completely absorbed by the pasta, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the Orange Aioli, season with salt and pepper and serve with the remaining aioli.
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