• Sobrassada meatballs with fideos and peas (Rochelle Eagle)Source: Rochelle Eagle

A comforting dish with the tasty sobrassada meatballs dotted among the soft pasta, and the mushrooms and cinnamon providing an earthy flavour.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (3 votes)

There are many types of fideo pasta used in various ‘fideuà’ dishes, particularly in Valencia, Catalunya and the Balearic provinces. ‘Fideo’ is the Spanish word for noodle and while the Western world might be more familiar with pasta via the Italians, these short noodles feature in some of Spain’s most famous dishes, such as the squid ink fideo paella. 

On the islands, this dish tends to be served quite wet, while the fideos are very well cooked. Cook it to your taste, but don’t worry if you overcook the pasta, as that’s how it’s meant to be.


  • 150 g (5½ oz) day-old crustless sourdough bread, torn into chunks
  • 2 tbsp full-cream (whole) milk
  • 200 g (7 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 200 g (7 oz) minced (ground) veal
  • 100 g (3½ oz) sobrassada
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet pimentón
  • 1 tsp smoked pimentón
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 large tomatoes, grated, skins discarded
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) dry white wine
  • 150 g (5½ oz) swiss brown or Portobello mushrooms, cut into 2 cm (¾ in) chunks
  • 150 g (5½ oz) pine or field mushrooms, chopped into 2 cm (¾ in) chunks
  • 1.2 litres (41 fl oz) chicken stock, heated to a simmer
  • pinch of saffron
  • 200 g (7 oz) thick fideo pasta, or thick spaghetti cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) lengths
  • 200 g (7 oz) tinned butterbeans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 parsley sprigs, chopped
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • crusty bread, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl for 5–10 minutes. Squeeze the milk from the bread and place the bread in a large bowl. Discard the milk.

2. Add the minced pork and veal, sobrassada, egg, marjoram or oregano and season with salt and pepper. With wet hands, roll the mixture into golf ball–sized balls.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat and fry the meatballs, swirling the pan to help keep them round, for 6–8 minutes, until evenly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

4. Add the remaining oil and the onion and cook for 8–10 minutes, until soft. Stir through the garlic, pimentóns and cinnamon stick and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the grated tomato. Keep stirring, pour in the wine and simmer until evaporated. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until beginning to colour. Add the chicken stock and saffron and bring to a rapid simmer. Add the fideo pasta and beans, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 10–12 minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan and continue to cook for 6–8 minutes, until heated through and the pasta is very well cooked.

5. Ladle into serving bowls and stir through the chopped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges on the side and tuck in with some crusty bread.


Recipe from Isla by Emma Warren (Smith Street Books, RRP $49.00), photography by Rochelle Eagle.