I don’t think I’ve ever been messaged more on social media than when I posted a picture of this fideo in my Instagram stories. The response took me by surprise—I mean, this is true, homestyle Mexican cuisine. Nothing fancy. And that’s why it’s so good.
Fideo is Mexico’s version of angel hair pasta, just cut into 1-inch pieces. When we made fideo seco back home, we toasted the pasta and then cooked it in a tomatoey broth, sometimes with vegetables and maybe shredded chicken. In this version, I start with a quick tomato sauce that I borrowed from my fiancé, Philip (it’s the same one we use for pasta and pizza) and added some chipotles to give it a kick.
Now, a few secrets that will guarantee that when you make this fideo seco, you’re able to receive all the magic. The key is to blend the sauce until it’s really smooth, and add enough liquid so the sauce is thin enough to be absorbed by the pasta. Think of this like risotto, where you have to stir while liquid is absorbed by the pasta. Stirring is essential to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan and to make sure the sauce gets distributed and absorbed. This is one of those things learned by watching the abuelas in the cocina; it’s not hard, but you have to pay attention. It’s a humble meal that will only work if you watch it closely while making it.
And now, the big finish—avocado slices, a drizzle of tart crema Mexicana, fresh cilantro leaves, crumbled queso fresco … maybe a squeeze of lime juice, and you’re in heaven, which for me is right back home in Tijuana. If you’re carb-watching, take a break—this is worth every bite. In fact, the only way this could possibly get any better is by adding more carbs. Like reheating it the next day and making fideo tacos (with corn tortillas, please) or tortas, with the same toppings. Maybe some fresh salsa. Add a Mexican Coca-Cola, and you’re all set. Enjoy!