Every week on the Good Food Blog we celebrate Meatless Monday by sharing a vegetarian recipe from our archives.
Patricia Wells is a food writer and restaurant columnist who lives in France. Her book The Provence Cookbook was published by Harper Collins. You can find out about her cooking tours in France at www.PatriciaWells.com. She first shared this recipe for Linguine with Saffron from Provence on July 31, 2004.
Linguine with Saffron from Provence
6 servings as a main course; 12 servings as a side dish
Equipment: Pasta pot fitted with a colander
- Generous pinch of best-quality saffron threads (about 1 heaping tsp)
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons course sea salt
- 1 pound imported Italian linguine
- 1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Fine sea salt to taste
- At least 8 hours (and up to 48 hours) before preparing the pasta, combine the saffron and the milk in a covered container. Shake to blend. Refrigerate until the pasta is prepared.
- In the pasta pot, bring about 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the salt and the pasta, stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook until tender but firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pasta pot from the excess heat. Remove the colander and drain over a sink, shaking to remove excess water.
- In a large saucepan, warm the saffron milk over low heat. Add the drained pasta and stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Add half of the cheese and toss once more. Add salt to taste. Taste for seasoning. Cover and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the pasta to thoroughly absorb the sauce. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to individual warmed shallow soup bowls. Serve immediately, passing the remaining cheese at the table.
*When buying saffron, select only bright deep red and milder yellow threads, and look for Superior Grade Spanish Mancha saffron or Coupe Grade Spanish Mancha saffron. A single gram of saffron yields about 1 tablespoon of saffron threads, enough to flavor many dishes.