I came across this recipe on the blog ‘101 Cookbooks’ – the healthy recipe journal, who I think was inspired by a version from Yotam Ottolenghi. I believe he uses fresh saffron tagliatelle – the recipe is in his book.
I haven’t actually changed a thing apart from using fettuccine and adding more chilli flakes at the end, as it was seriously delicious. Next time, as suggested I will double up on the spice blend and so it will be a super quick dinner, rather than just a quick one. If you wish to add meat or fish, I would recommend salmon, chicken or chorizo, all would work well.
Ingredients Serves 2-4
- ¼ tsp saffron threads
- Pinch of salt
- 100g butter
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 shallots
Spice mix – you may want to double up/or triple up on this for next time……
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp red chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp fine salt
- Black pepper
- 250g dried pasta (tagliatelle, pappardelle or fettuccine)
- 225g asparagus sliced into 1.5 cm pieces
- Splash of cream
- 60g pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
Put a large pan of water on to boil. In the meantime, using a pestle and mortar grind the saffron and salt to a fine powder, set aside.
Place the butter and oil into a frying pan and cook the shallots gently for about 10 minutes until they are soft and the butter just starts to lightly brown. Stir in all the spices and ¼ tsp of salt and keep warm on the stove. Season with pepper.
Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente and 30 seconds before it’s done add the asparagus and then drain before returning to the pasta pan along with the saffron salt. Pour as much spiced butter into the pasta and asparagus as you wish and add a splash of cream. Adjust cream, butter and seasoning to taste and mix well, serving sprinkled with pine nuts and the mint and parsley.
Any leftover butter can be used over seafood, eggs, vegetables, potatoes or whatever you fancy. I am using it to make the same dinner tonight but adding salmon to the mix.