Mexican Noodle Casserole (Sopa Seca)

This recipe from cookbook author Diana Kennedy is a comforting casserole dense with thin fideo noodles bathed in chile sauce. Serve it with a salad or pickled chiles on the side. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue with Beth Kracklauer’s article The Expat.

Mexican Noodle Casserole (Sopa Seca) Mexican Noodle Casserole (Sopa Seca)
This comforting casserole is dense with thin fideo noodles bathed in chile sauce. Serve it with a salad or pickled chiles on the side.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 14 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing
  • 8 oz. fideos (available at mexgrocer.com) or vermicelli noodles, broken into 3″ pieces
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
  • 12 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 12 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija
  • 34 cup crema (available at mexgrocer.com) or sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with oil; set aside. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, add pasta and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and toasted, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; set aside.
  2. Purée chipotles, garlic, tomatoes, and onion in a blender until very smooth, at least 2 minutes. Return skillet to heat, and add tomato purée; cook, stirring constantly, until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 18 minutes. Add stock, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add noodles, stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish, and cover with foil; bake until pasta is tender and sauce is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  3. Divide among serving plates, sprinkle with Cotija, and drizzle with crema; sprinkle with minced cilantro before serving.