Mexican Bird Nests

Mexican Bird Nests
(Sopa Seca de Fideo)

The literal translation of this dish is “Dry Noodle Soup”. I call it Mexican Bird Nests, because it originates in Mexico, and the type of pasta you use to make it is known as “Capelli de Angelo” (angel hair because it is very fine), and it is shaped like a bird’s nest.  This type of pasta is not always easy to find, so you might want to go to an Italian specialty food store. DeCecco and Anna are two brands you might want to look for.

While this can be served as a main dish, its more commonly served as a side.  One nest per person, or 3 if you are going to make it a meal.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound angel hair nests or vermicelli (vermicelli usually comes in 1 pound packages, so about 1/2 a package)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:  

  1.  I prefer a stainless pan for this with a good lid.  Heat the olive oil to a shimmer.  Add in pasta nests and it is IMPORTANT to keep an eye on them. They burn easily, so timing is important, this is NOT the time to go check the game on TV or your email.
  2. Once they are browned, flip over, and continue to cook until they are light to medium brown, not black.
  3. Remove from the pan, put on a dish with paper towels to remove excess oil.
  4. Put in the tomatoes and onion, cook for a few minutes until soft and translucent.
  5. Add broth, bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the pasta in, in a single layer.  Cook for 3 minutes, then flip over so both sides are moist with the broth.
  7. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, and/or until all the broth is absorbed.