So my mom recently went on a Mediterranean cruise and, of course, my souvenir request was food. :-) I received a host of goodies and this little treasure was one of my favorites:
Real Spanish saffron! One of the most expensive spices in the world, but a little is all you need. Once again proof that good things come in tiny packages. I was debating the first recipe I would try with this ingredient. Something traditional like saffron chicken and rice? Or something exotic like saffron rice pudding? I finally threw this pasta together and it was amazing. Although it has all the luxuriousness of a cream sauce, it’s not too heavy with nice, bright flavors. Not to mention how quick and easy plus a pretty presentation due to the lovely yellow color the saffron exudes.
Shrimp Linguine with Saffron Cream Sauce
- ½ lb linguine
- 4 oz asparagus
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup chicken stock, warmed
- pinch of saffron threads, crushed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. Add asparagus during the last 3-5 minutes or so of cooking. Drain and set aside.
While water is boiling for pasta, heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through. Set aside.
Add the saffron to the warmed chicken stock allowing the flavor and color to bloom. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Whisk in butter.
Toss pasta, asparagus and shrimp with sauce and serve.
Yield: about 4 servings