Healthy and Sane

Fideos with ham, shrimp and clams

February 6th, 2012 · 33 Comments · favorite recipes, ham, pasta, shrimp, Spanish

Since the first day Adam and I became a couple, we committed to seeing each other as much as possible despite the fact that at the time, I was living in New York and he was living in Boston (we met in college and were friends for 5 years prior). We took weekly turns on the bus to/from New York/Boston to spend the weekends together (and I’m proud to say in nearly a year, we only missed 2 weekends because of work and school related travel!). For any of you that have been in long distance relationships, you know how hard it is to be apart during the week. Of course that also made the weekends that much more special. We took advantage of every minute together. It was like honeymooning every single week Smile


Between Boston and New York, New York was decisively the cooler of the two, and I made sure to show Adam the best the city had to offer. We spent our days eating and drinking all over New York, enjoying perfectly pressed sandwiches oozing with goat cheese and plump tomatoes; feasting on ice cream, cookies and pastries while exploring new neighborhoods (ok the pastries part was all me Winking smile); and finishing our nights with indulgent dinners and cocktails at fancy restaurants. It is then that dining out became the core of our relationship. Good food really does bring people together (oh yeah, and love).


Eventually I developed an interest in cooking, but our love for eating out never died – it remains to be our favorite past time. Unfortunately due to my lack of income at the moment, our eating out budget has been cut significantly (it has been the hardest part of our transition). To “ease the pain,” I’ve been trying to recreate memorable meals out at home. Open-mouthed smile


This dish of fideos with ham, shrimp and clams (recipe here; I halved it and it still made about 8 servings!) was inspired by a dish I had in a (surprise, surprise!) New York restaurant, Casa Mono (<—Mario Batali’s Spanish tapas restaurant in Union Square). It was my first time trying fideos which are thin noodles, replacing rice in this paella-like dish (yes, I know paella actually refers to the pan – not the dish – but in my mind rice, seafood and meats all cooked together with safron and Spanish spices = paella, regardless of the vessel they are cooked in). We were so blown away by Casa Mono’s fideos with chorizo and clams – we ordered round 2!

When Kerstin, Shannon and I decided to make a Spanish inspired feast, instead of going out to eat, I was eager to try my hands at a fideos dish myself… and I have to say it came out absolutely perfect – as good, if not better, than the fideos dish at Casa Mono!! Side note: Kerstin made manchego stuffed meatballs and fantastic potatoes and Shannon made some crazy brown rice milk cupcakes with almond cream cheese frosting, and her boyfriends supplied some home brewed beer and hard cider – oh yeah, we ate well that night!).


This dish is a little time consuming but it’s mostly inactive time. You can also make the ham hock broth ahead of time, and then the whole thing will come together leisurely in about 45 minutes. Easy peasy. It was my first time cooking with ham shanks/hocks (I found them in the frozen section at Whole Foods) – they lend an incredible smokiness to the whole dish since the noodles and seafood are cooked in the broth they produce. Oh and I also couldn’t find “fideos” so I bought angel hair pasta and broke it up into smaller pieces – it worked like a charm! This dish was hearty, smoky, briny (from the olives and clams) and buttery (from the shrimp) – I thought it was an incredibly impressive dish that is just perfect for company. Pair it with a simple salad or make a few other tapas, and your guests will be happy. I promise Open-mouthed smile

Have you ever had fideos? Do you like recreating meals out at home?

PS – If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

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33 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Shannon

    this was the first time I’d tried this dish and it was delicious! The ham was pretty amazing in here :)

  • #2 - Katy

    looks tasty – will have to try this one out :)

  • #3 - Michelle

    This dish sounded awesome when you were talking about it yesterday and it looks mouth-watering in photos!

  • #4 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    Love the back story. Yes, food really does bring people together! I’ve had fideos before, but I don’t remember where so I guess it wasn’t that spectacular. Your dish looks great and actually restaurant-worthy!

  • #5 - Yana

    Elina, this dish looks absolutely amazing!!! I would love to try the recipe :) Thank you for the recipe!

  • #7 - Ranjani

    Great photos – the dish looks so good!

  • #8 - Dana

    Distance is hard. The army keeps my Mr and I apart more regularly than desired, but it is true that the space between you makes you savor all of the moments when you’re close.

    I haven’t had fideos before, but it is now definitely on my list!

  • #10 - MelissaNibbles

    Aww…what a cute story.

    I’ve never had fideos. It sounds delicious!

  • #11 - Megan

    I recently tried fideos and loved it. I can totally get behind swapping out rice in paella for noodles.

  • #12 - Sacha

    I love Fideos! It’s all about the texture and nuttiness of the toasted pasta for me. Yum!

    • #13 - Elina

      Ooh yeah, the toasted pasta. Definitely lends a bit of nuttiness. I wish I had leftovers now!! :)

  • #14 - Amy (Savory Moments)

    Wow! This looks like such a fun and flavorful dish. I bet it does bring people together!

  • #15 - Joanne

    I always forget that you used to live in NYC! I love eating out but definitely don’t do it enough. But maybe that’s because it’s sometimes just as delicious to get in the kitchen and eat in! This fideo dish sounds so tasty. Definitely the perfect tapas-esque meal!

    • #16 - Elina

      Yup, I definitely miss it but Boston is pretty cool too :) I definitely still LOVE eating out but you also can’t beat that proud feeling of knowing you pulled off a crazy awesome dish all by yourself 😉

  • #17 - yummychunklet

    This looks really good! And the idea of toasted pasta is so original!

    • #18 - Elina

      I didn’t realize it but I guess you do that with rice too for rice pilaf :)

  • #19 - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    Your pictures are fantastic and make that dish look so delicious! Food really is the best way to connect with someone:-)

  • #20 - Bree

    This looks fabulous!

  • #21 - Bridget

    Dining out is something Brian and I love doing as well, and sadly that hasn’t happened much lately! I guess mostly finanical reasons, but I’m hating that we’re falling into that “marriage rut” where we don’t do the big dinners out as much…I’m gonna have to work on that :)

    This dish looks incredible and so delicious!!! Gotta try it!

  • #23 - Elizabeth

    I didn’t know you and Adam were long distance in the beginning. Dave and I have been long distance for much of the 4.5 years we’ve been dating. That’s impressive that you guys did every weekend. We do about twice a month.
    Anyway, I had a fantastic fideos dish at Oleana. I would get it again any day.

    • #24 - Elina

      Yup – for about a year until Adam actually moved to NY for me… and then a year later we moved back to Boston together. A vegetarian fideos dish? What was in it? Sounds promising! :)

  • #25 - Colleen

    Fideos are the best! My boyfriend is a vegetarian and we have even compromised on a vegetarian version (cooked with extra smoky paprika, of course).

    I travel for business every single week so I’m in a semi-long distance relationship myself. But you’re right, it makes the weekends much more special!

  • #26 - Cory


    I’m just curious. What is your favorite spice to cook with? I use a lot of garlic powder and red pepper flakes. My husband loves the spice!

    Thnx : )

    • #27 - Elina

      I loooove garlic but prefer it fresh so garlic powder is rarely used around these parts. I just looked in my spice drawer and looks like cayenne pepper (love the kick), red pepper flakes (of course!), paprika (that smoky taste can’t be beat) and chili powder go fast… but I have an overflowing spice drawer so I’m ready for whatever recipes ask for. :)

  • #28 - Court

    This looks amazing! I love trying to recreate meals and it’s always a proud moment when they come out well.

  • #29 - Clair

    Glad to have finally met you last night! I’m so excited for all that you’re doing…keep it up!

    And this looks delicious. I’m about to go catch up on some of your latest…

    • #30 - Elina

      I’m glad we met as well! And I’m totally going to make those “bunches of oats” :)

  • #31 - Sarah // Hemenway Street

    I absolutely love this. My boyfriend and I are long distance, and we certainly cherish our weekends together. So many of our memories have taken place while dining out.

    It was so great to meet you last night!

  • #32 - Kerstin

    This was so amazing! Apolinaras and I had a little scuffle over who got the leftovers the next day.. :) Thanks again for hosting, so fun!

  • #33 - Cara

    What an impressive and delicious dish! I want in next time 😉