So my mom recently went on a Mediterranean cruise and, of course, my souvenir request was food. I received a host of goodies and this little treasure was one of my favorites:
Real Spanish saffron! One of the most expensive spices in the world, but a little is all you need. Once again proof that good things come in tiny packages. I was debating the first recipe I would try with this ingredient. Something traditional like saffron chicken and rice? Or something exotic like saffron rice pudding? I finally threw this pasta together and it was amazing. Although it has all the luxuriousness of a cream sauce, it’s not too heavy with nice, bright flavors. Not to mention how quick and easy plus a pretty presentation due to the lovely yellow color the saffron exudes.
Shrimp Linguine with Saffron Cream Sauce
- 1/2 lb linguine
- 4 oz asparagus
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup chicken stock, warmed
- pinch of saffron threads, crushed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. Add asparagus during the last 3-5 minutes or so of cooking. Drain and set aside.
- While water is boiling for pasta, heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through. Set aside.
- Add the saffron to the warmed chicken stock allowing the flavor and color to bloom. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Whisk in butter.
- Toss pasta, asparagus and shrimp with sauce and serve.