Spanish-style Pasta in Tomato Broth

    This Catalan way of cooking pasta in a thick, fresh tomato sauce makes a rich side dish with meat or fish dishes.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 500 g tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 garlic, peeled
    • 150 g onions, chopped
    • A strip of orange zest, about 2 inches long
    • 2 bay leaves and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
    • 10-12 strands saffron
    • 600 ml vegetable stock
    • A pinch of caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 225 g vermicelli, broken into pieces
    • Salt and black pepper to taste
    • 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 pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. Discard the herbs and zest, then purée the broth in a mixie.
    3. Return the purée to the pan and stir in the oil, vermicelli, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to another 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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