Creamy Taglierini Pasta with Saffron Sauce (with vegan variation)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
 
Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup full fat milk
  • A pinch saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 g butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour or starch
  • 160g taglierini, tagliolini or angel hair pasta
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus coarse salt for the boiling water
  • Some of the pasta cooking water
  • Poppy seeds, to finish
  • (For vegan variation, see description below)
Instructions
  1. In a small pot, warm the milk, but to not bring to a boil. Add the saffron threads, and stir them into the warm milk. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Keep the milk warm but do not boil it.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add coarse salt (about a scant tablespoon every 4 cups).
  3. In the meantime, melt the butter and oil in a pan. When the butter starts to bubble, take the pan off the fire and add the flour. Stir well to melt it and create a paste with the butter.
  4. Add the warm saffron milk a little at a time, stirring to incorporate it. When it is completely incorporated, bring the pan back on a medium-low flame, add salt, and stir constantly until the mixture thickens. It will look sort of loose and might feel too watery, but it will thicken up later with the pasta starch and cheese.
  5. Boil the pasta. If you made them at home, they will take about 3 minutes. If store-bought, cook as indicated in the package, but drain them a minute or two before indicated. Reserve about a cup of the pasta water.
  6. Add the pasta to the pan along with a couple tablespoons of the pasta water and the grated cheese, and stir to form a cream. If too thick, add a little extra pasta water until you reach the desired consistency.
  7. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of poppy seeds on top.
VEGAN VERSION: use a light-tasting oil instead of the butter, and substitute the milk with full-fat coconut milk. Just skip the cheese - add a teaspoon or two of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. The saffron has a very strong flavor and will likely cover all other flavors.
  1. If you do not want to use coconut milk, use half cup cashews, soaked for several hours, blended with half cup water.
  2. For a gluten free version, use gluten free pasta.
Recipe by Hortus Natural Cooking by Valentina Solfrini at http://hortuscuisine.com/blog/2017/01/12/creamy-taglierini-pasta-saffron-sauce-poppy-seeds/