All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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That photo is un-retouched & shot in natural light. So – yes! That pasta really IS that color! Pretty to look at but with the delicate flavors of saffron and cauliflower – this is a delightful pasta dish.
I found this great saffron liquid at Super King for $7.
That is a way cheaper option than saffron threads but saffron threads will be easier to find, I suspect. I actually made this twice because the first time I made it – I made it with whole wheat fusilli & I didn’t like the photos. This dish above was made with regular linguini. The first time I made it, I used white wine & ghee (clarified butter). The second time, I used regular butter & skipped the wine. I think they tasted pretty much the same so I am going to post the one I made this morning. There is only a tiny bit of the heavy cream per serving so do not be alarmed. It isn’t as rich as you might fear.
Saffron Cream Pasta with Cauliflower, Tomatoes & Chili Flakes
INGREDIENTS (for two very healthy servings)
1/2 lb dry pasta or your choice
1 small head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
2 large shallots – minced
2 tomatoes – diced
2 TBS ghee or butter (or vegan alternative)
1/2 cup heavy cream (or vegan alternative – almond milk should work fine)
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1-2 TBS olive oil
1 generous pinch (1/2 a tsp or more) saffron threads steeped in 1/4 cup hot (not boiling) water OR 1 TBS (or more) saffron liquid from a bottle
Crushed red pepper to taste
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
Steam the cauliflower for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the shallots until just soft but not browned. If using wine – add it now & cook it off for about a minute. Or just skip ahead.
Add the ghee or butter and the heavy cream & the saffron. Simmer over medium heat until it reduces by about half. Add the tomatoes & the steamed cauliflower.
Add salt & white pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta according to instructions, drain & add directly to the pan with the saffron sauce. Combine thoroughly. Serve with lots of crushed red pepper.