The winter weather here in southern California is either hit or miss. Sometimes you feel a chill coming and sometimes it feels like it might be a Summer day with cleaner air. I like winter to be on the cooler side. When the sun decides to take a break and let a little bit of the cold hit our coast, I instantly think of sopa de estrellas. Who can resist the savory star shaped pasta? I’ve been eating it since I was a kid. When I would get home from school on a cold day, I always knew there would be a small pot of sopa de estrellas or fideo waiting for me on the stovetop. Even though they are super similar I prefer the estrellas. As a kid it made me think of fantasy sci-fi or astrology, and it seemed to fit in with my cast of cute girly characters I wore in my hair or proudly displayed on my shirt. As an adult I love them just the same. I adore the fact that they are star shaped and a serious traditional dish my Grandpa made me growing up. They bring total nostalgia of a cold day from my childhood. I used to really be thrilled when he would let me watch over his shoulder as he made a fresh batch, he would tell me to make sure to burn the pasta good before adding anything else…. this would give the sopa good flavor. He was absolutely right about that. I add cubes of cheese to the top of the sopa when it’s done cooking and find myself happy and warm.
Here’s something I forgot to mention I found my estrellas at Walmart for .33cents a bag. Yes…. you read that right, I love it at Walmart. If you need to spend extra money on your gas bill this month due to the heater being on… This meal is inexpensive, and taste just right.
Ingredients for sopa de estrellas:
- 1 – tablespoon olive oil
- 1 – 7 oz. bag of estrellas ( I used La Moderna)
- 3/4 – cup onion (thinly sliced)
- 3 – garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1/4 – teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 – teaspoon black pepper
- 8 – ounces tomato sauce (1 small can)
- 5 – cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 – cup diced chunks of cheddar cheese
- In a small pot over a medium high heat add in olive oil and allow to get hot.
- Pour in the estrellas. Mix to coat with oil.
- Cook for about 6 to 7 minutes. Stirring every so often. You want to make sure your pasta stars are burned.
- Add in onion, garlic, oregano, and black pepper. Mix to combine.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes to soften the onion.
- Pour in the tomato sauce. It will sizzle. Mix it in.
- Then add in the broth. Stir once or twice to break up the estrellas. Once the mixture comes to a boil let it cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until stars are soft to the bite.
- Remove from flame and add the cheese cubs in. Mix.
- Serve hot and enjoy with corn chips.