Fideo Penne with Chorizo and Kale

Fideo is a favorite pasta of Mexican cooking. The fine, thin pasta comes in coils, like angel hair pasta. It is typically sautéed in oil for a few minutes, then cooked directly in the sauce, rather than separately in water as is traditional with Italian pasta. However, spaghetti also works with the flavors of chorizo (the spicy Hispanic sausage), and the other sauce elements of this recipe. Finely chopped kale adds some greens without altering the tomato-chili flavors.  Recipe courtesy of Center for Ecoliteracy.

Serves 4


  • 2 dried ancho peppers
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juices
  • 1 cup kale, stemmed and finely chopped
  • Kosher or coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces fideo or whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • ½ pound chorizo, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, crumbles
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Place the ancho peppers in the hot water and soak until soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. When soft, remove the stems and seeds and chop into small pieces.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Discard the water.
  5. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  8. Add the broth, tomatoes, reserved peppers, and kale.
  9. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
  10. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  11. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  12. Break the fideo coils into 3 or 4 pieces and add directly to the simmering sauce, stirring them in.
  13. Cover and cook until the fideo is tender and most of the sauce absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  14. Stir in the chorizo.
  15. If using spaghetti noodles, cook separately in boiling salted water.
  16. Serve garnished with the cheese and cilantro.


Serves 3-4

SUGGESTION: To change the flavor profile to Mediterranean, use mild Italian sausage

instead of chorizo, a few red pepper flakes instead of the soaked ancho peppers, and

garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley instead of queso fresco and cilantro.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: 504 calories, 32.5 g fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans

fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 1103 mg sodium, 759 mg potassium, 32.5 g carbohydrates, 3g fiber,

2g sugars, 23g protein (USDA)

© Copyright Center for Ecoliteracy. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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Photography: Craig Lee,

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Classic Tomato Soup

Nothing soothes the soul more than a bowl of old-fashioned tomato soup. And it’s even better when you make it yourself. It’s so easy!
Serves 4
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 -14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Pinch sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium heavy pot.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sauté over medium for 9 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour.
  4. Mix in tomatoes, broth, sugar, and thyme. Season with black pepper and salt to taste.
  5. Cover and simmer over medium for 40 minutes.
  6. Place small batches of soup into a blender container and blend until smooth, yet lumpy. Return to pot and reheat if necessary.
  7. Serve immediately.

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