Catalan-style pasta in tomato broth

Catalan-style pasta in tomato broth


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About this recipe: This Spanish way of cooking pasta in a thick fresh sauce makes a rich side dish to accompany meat or fish.

Brenda Houghton

Serves: 4 

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 whole head garlic, separated into individual cloves and peeled
  • 150 g (5½ oz) onions, chopped
  • A strip of orange zest, about 5 cm (2 in) long
  • 2 bay leaves and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
  • 10-12 strands saffron
  • 600 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
  • A pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 225 g (8 oz) vermicelli, broken into pieces
  • Salt and black pepper
  • To garnish: sprigs of fresh basil

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:50min 

  1. Put the tomatoes, garlic, onions, orange zest, herbs, saffron, stock and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Discard the herbs and zest, then purée the broth in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer.
  3. Return the purée to the pan and stir in the oil, vermicelli, and some salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil then simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked and the broth has thickened. Season to taste and serve, garnished with basil.

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