Pasta and Herbs: Saffron Pasta

| April/May 1996

Makes about 2/3 pound, 4 to 6 servings

The rich flavor and aroma of this pasta are wonderful with fish and shellfish in a broth, wine, or cream sauce, or with sautéed chicken. It stands up well to sauces that have the strong flavor of olives and acid ingredients such as wine and tomatoes. Try Saffron Pasta with sweet peppers, garlic, and onions or leeks. Here, we shape it into bow ties, called farfalle (“butterflies”) in Italian.

• 2 teaspoons saffron threads, firmly packed
• 1 tablespoon hot water
• 2 cups unbleached flour
• 2 extra-large eggs

1. In small bowl, combine the saffron and the water and let stand 10 minutes. If you are making the pasta by hand, add the saffron and water to the eggs after you have beaten them lightly with a fork. If you are making the pasta in a food processor, add the saffron water to the work bowl after you have added the eggs. Proceed according to the directions for Egg Pasta.

2. After rolling the dough through the next-to-last setting on the pasta machine, cut it into 1-by-2-inch rectangles with a fluted ravioli cutter or knife. With your thumb and forefinger, pinch the centers of the rectangles together to make bow ties and set them on tea towels or a lightly floured surface.

3. The Italians know that unforgettable flavor can result from a few simple ingredients gathered fresh from the garden and combined in satisfying ways.

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