Sopa Seca (Mexican Noodle Casserole)

2014-08-20
sopa seca signed cover
  • Yield : 8" x 8" baking dish
  • Servings : 6-8
  • Prep Time : 45m
  • Cook Time : 25m
  • Ready In : 1:10 h

Sopa Seca literally translates as ‘dry soup’. This dish is anything but dry; creamy, intensely flavored, richly colored, a delicious entree or hearty side. This would be a great time to use homemade salsa and chili sauce as I did; however, use store bought for great results too. Commercial salsa and chili sauce are more red so the color of the finished dish will be more tomato red rather than brick red.

1.  Puree together salsa,    and chili sauce. 2.  Homemade chipotle peppers in adobo. 3. Remove seeds and membrane to control heat. 4. Puree again until smooth. 5. Break up angel hair pasta or use this. 6. Work in batches to control toasting. 7. Coat with oil. 8. Beginning to toast. 9. Light to medium toast.  10. Dark toasted color. 11. Puree is soupy when added to skillet. 12. It reduces and loses excess moisture. 13. Ready when it leaves a path and mounds. 14. Add toasted noodles. 15. Pour in prepared pan; smooth top, cover with foil. 16. Noodles are tender; rich color and intense flavor.

1. Puree together salsa, and chili sauce.
2. Homemade chipotle peppers in adobo.
3. Remove seeds and membrane to control heat.
4. Puree again until smooth.
5. Break up angel hair pasta or use this.
6. Work in batches to control toasting.
7. Coat with oil.
8. Beginning to toast.
9. Light to medium toast.
10. Dark toasted color.
11. Puree is soupy when added to skillet.
12. It reduces and loses excess moisture.
13. Ready when it leaves a path and mounds.
14. Add toasted noodles.
15. Pour in prepared pan; smooth top, cover with foil.
16. Noodles are tender; rich color and intense flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups prepared salsa (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 cup prepared chili sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 4 chipotles in adobo (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups broken angel hair pasta (or 1/2 box of cut spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro, crumbled cojita cheese, Mexican crema

Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" x 8" glass baking dish with non stick spray. Set aside.

Step 2

Puree salsa and chili sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth, about 1 minute.

Step 3

Pull membranes and seeds from chipotles, discard. Put chipotles in food processor with puree. Process again until chipotles are incorporated and puree is smooth, about 2 minutes.

Step 4

Pour oil in a heavy skillet set over medium high heat. Add half of the pasta. Stirring constantly, toast to desired darkness. Dark golden takes about 10 minutes. It's okay if you want light or medium golden.

Step 5

Remove toasted pasta to several thicknesses of paper towels to absorb excess oil. Toast remaining pasta. Remove from skillet to drain. Wipe excess oil from skillet. Place back over medium high heat.

Step 6

Add puree to skillet. Simmer for 20-30 minutes to evaporate off excess moisture. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Sauce is ready when a spoon scraped through the middle leaves a path for a few seconds (4-5 seconds) and mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.

Step 7

Stir in water. This seems counterintuitive, but the pasta needs a little water to tenderize in the oven.

Step 8

Mix in toasted pasta. Transfer to prepared dish. Smooth top and cover with foil. Place in preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pasta is tender. Pasta will not swell a lot. You will need to bite into a piece to check doneness.

Step 9

To serve: Spoon a portion onto a plate. Sprinkle with cilantro and cojita. Drizzle a little crema over top. Refrigerate leftovers.

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