Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rotelli, Asparagus and Peas with Saffron Cream

Unable to leave well enough alone, I made a number of strategic changes to (an already perfectly good) recipe from Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook. (Not using any saffron in the saffron cream, for one thing...!)

Madison writes: "The peas are small and fresh, the asparagus, pencil thin. The fragrant saffron-flavored cream makes this pasta filling and substantial. This is a rather special dish, fine for a company dinner." I most wholeheartedly agree.

4 - 6 ounces fresh pasta (tagliatelle or wide fettuccine would be ideal.
1/2 bunch asparagus
1 cup green peas
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 tablespoon butter
2 scallions finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 thin strip lemon peel; very thinly slivered
Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Melt the butter in a wide saute pan, and gently cook the shallots for several minutes, or until they are soft. Add the cream and the saffron infusion, bring to a boil, reduce slightly, and season with salt. When the pasta water is boiling, add salt, and cook the asparagus, and then the peas, in the boiling water. Scoop them out when they are done and add them to the cream. Next cook the pasta; when it is done, add it to the cream, turning it over several times with a pair of tongs to coat it with the sauce. Add the chervil leaves and the lemon peel, and serve on warm plates with grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

Serves 2

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