AUGUST 3, 2018

Pasta arrived in Mexico during the thirty years of Porfirio Diaz's presidency, with its emphasis on grand continental cuisine. This recipe calls for fideos, or vermicelli, but almost any soup pasta can be used, even stars, wheels or alphabet types. The trick is to have the noodle acquire the proper light-brown color without getting too dark and bitter tasting.

2 tomatoes
1/4 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) water
2 tablespoons oil
1 package (8 oz/250 g) vermicelli or other thin pasta
8 cups (64 fl oz/2 l) chicken stock

- In a blender, purée the tomatoes, onion and garlic with the water. Strain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the pasta and stir until it begins to brown. Pour off the excess oil. Add the puréed tomatoes and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Add salt to taste. If you wish, garnish with the chiles.

Serves 6