I have a huge array of spices at my house, so many in fact that I have to store them in 2 separate places! The one spice I never got was saffron. Why you ask? Well, because it is really quite expensive and I am kind of a cheapo!
When I saw this recipe in the new Rachel Ray magazine I knew I was going to have to splurge and get some.
This pasta is so creamy and sweet, with just a hint of heat from the fresh chili, I really enjoyed it.
What you need,
1 ½ cups chicken stock, low sodium (I used some homemade stock I had made and put in the freezer!)
2 health pinches of saffron threads (I probably used a good heaping teaspoon)
Salt and Pepper
3 ears of fresh sweet corn
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 Fresno chili pepper, finely chopped (any hot pepper would do here, even red pepper flakes)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. lemon zest
½ cup white wine (I didn’t have any so I used some extra chicken stock instead)
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Finely chopped fresh parsley for serving
To start combine the 1 ½ cups of chicken stock in a small pot with the saffron and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to simmer until it has reduced by one third.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve about ½ a cup of the cooking water.
Cut the corn off the cobs and set aside.
In a large skillet heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Melt the butter into the oil and when it foams add in the corn. Cook for about 5 minutes until the corn is just starting to brown. Add the chopped chili pepper, shallots and garlic to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Cook stirring for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, add the lemon zest. Deglaze the pan with the wine or chicken stock.
Stir in the saffron stock and bring to a bubble. Stir in the cream then lower the heat to a simmer.
Stir the grated cheese into the sauce and add the pasta tossing gently to coat. Use a little of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if you need to.
Sprinkle with the chopped fresh parsley and more cheese.
Serve with a nice side salad and you have a wonderful dinner.
I loved the sweetness of the fresh corn with pasta. It was just perfect.
I am not so sure the saffron really brought much flavor to the party but it sure did give it a nice yellow color.
I still have some saffron left over, now I am on the hunt for another recipe to use it in. If anyone has any good ones let me know!
Recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine