In the Dutch kitchen Saffron is considered an exotic spice and is almost never used. In the Mediterranean countries though, they sell and use it like we would with chili flakes. And with our recent trials we’ve fallen in love with Saffron as well.
This pasta reminds us of the 'poor man’s pasta' (Aglio e Olio e Pecorino) in simplicity. The taste however is far more complex and soft. Without the powerful chili and garlic this dish brings a welcome change of pace.
The subtle flowery flavour of the saffron pairs beautifully with the lemon. The softness would almost be too subtle if not for the sharper taste of the pepper and cheese. Serving it with a wedge of lemon allows the eater to decide the desired freshness.
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
350 gr Linguine (or Tagliatelle)
75 gr salted Butter
1 pinch Saffron
3 tsp. Black Pepper
A pinch of Sea Salt
75 gr Gran Padano (or Parmesan)
Bring a water to a boil (no salt or oil needed) and cook the pasta as normal.
Melt the Butter in a large baking pan on really low fire. When the Butter is melted grate the Lemon zest into it and add the Saffron. Keep the fire low until 1 minute before the pasta is ready.
Take a cup of the cooking water and drain the Pasta. Toss the pasta into the baking pan, add the Pepper and a pinch of Salt. Stir the butter sauce so it covers the pasta, if the pasta is a little dry add a splash of the pasta water and stir again. Only turn off the heat when the liquid is almost gone.
Serve immediately with the grated cheese and a wedge of Lemon. (special for those who as we enjoy it a bit fresher)