This recipe belongs to Patricia Wells, it is from her book The Provence Cookbook. The Spice House had the great honor of hosting Patricia for a book signing reception the summer this book came out. We prepared an assortment of delightful appetizers from her book, including this pasta.
In her book, she was excited to find saffron growing in Provence locally. We substituted our highest quality Spanish Coupe grade saffron with wonderful results. We have also found that if you use this particular saffron, you do not need 8 hours for the saffron to infuse its flavor and color into the milk, 1-2 hours is fine.
1. 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. Refregerate until the pasta is prepared.
2. 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 heat. Remove the colander and drain over a sink, shaking to remove excess water.
3. 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.
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