Chosen Bites: Summer one pot pleasure

Chef Laura Frankel serves up simple, light dishes that are loaded with flavor and perfect for a warm summer evening with friends.

pasta 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
pasta 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
My favorite summer memories begin with a great meal and friends. I love the warm nights, catching up with friends and great food. My summer menus begin with simple, one pot meals. Similar in ease to my winter stews and casseroles, my summer one pot suppers are light and loaded with flavor.
Several years ago I purchased a Paella pan. I knew I wanted it, but did not know much I would come to rely upon it. If you do not have a Paella pan, any large sauté pan will do.  Paellas are one pot meals typically made with a short grain Spanish rice and either fish, chicken and or meat, usually pork. Fideua Paella is made with toasted pasta. The pasta takes on a toasted wheat flavor and becomes saturated with flavor from the saffron and other spices.
This version of Fideua features fresh tuna. If you cannot find tuna, you can substitute any firm fleshed fish such as bass, salmon, grouper or halibut. Serve this Paella with your favorite fruity red wine or Sangria.
Fideua Paella
Extra virgin olive oil1 small red onion, diced4 cloves garlic, diced2 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and diced½ pound of capellini, broken into 2 inch segments ½ teaspoon saffron threads2 teaspoons pimentonPinch of crushed red chili flakes2 teaspoons tomato paste½ cup crushed tomatoes½ cup white wine2 cups fish stock or vegetable stock or water2 pounds tuna filets, cut into large chunksChopped parsleySalt and pepperGarnishes: lemon slices, extra virgin olive oil, garlicky aioli
1. Place a large skillet or paella pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and red peppers and cook until the vegetables are very soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes).
2.    Add the pasta segments. Cook the pasta until it is toasty brown, (about 10 minutes).
3.    Add the spices and tomato paste and continue cooking until the tomato paste turns dark (about 3 minutes). Add the white wine and cook until the wine evaporates. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the pasta is cooked through and the tuna is cooked but not dry.
4.    Garnish with chopped parsley and drizzle of extra virgin olive.
This fruity beverage is perfect for a hot summer evening and is the perfect complement to Paella.
1 750ml. bottle fruity red wine (I prefer Zinfandel)
1 cup brandy
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
2 lemons sliced
2 oranges sliced
2 limes sliced
Stir all of the ingredients together. Serve over ice.
Laura Frankel is the executive chef at Spertus Kosher Catering and the author of  - Jewish Cooking for all Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.