This is one that looks and tastes like it’s being served straight out of a fine dining restaurant. It’s rich and creamy, with the wonderful, floral, earthy taste, and slightly sweet hint of saffron. Saffron Tagliatelle isn’t your everyday meal, it’s a luxurious pasta for special occasions.
Saffron is, of course, the center of attention here. It’s a precious spice that comes from the purple saffron crocus. It’s one of the world’s most expensive spices, if not the most expensive, by weight. This is mostly because it only blooms for about 3 weeks a year and the flowers can only be harvested by hand. So, as I said, this is one to be enjoyed only on special occasions.
I included Saffron twice in this recipe: in the Tagliatelle dough itself, and in the sauce. It’s a wonderful add-on in the pasta dough, and the red threads look beautiful imprinted there. But if you want to use less saffron, skip adding it to your pasta dough and only include it in the sauce. This is where you’ll taste most of its flavor.
Check out this link to learn how to make homemade Tagliatelle step-by-step.
Paired with zucchini, veal, champagne (or any other dry, sparkling wine) and heavy cream, saffron unfolds indescribably and is exceptionally delicious. Treat yourself; you earned it!
SAFFRON TAGLIATELLE WITH CHAMPAGNE-VEAL-SAUCE
- 1 packet of saffron threads approx. 150 mg (optional)
- 3 tbsp water
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- 400 g white flour plus a little more for rolling out
- 1 packet of saffron threads approx. 150 mg
- 200 ml Champagne or a dry sparkling wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 350 g veal alternatively beef, cut into strips
- 1 tsp salt pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 zucchini approx. 450 g, quartered and cut into fine strips
- 1 tsp salt
- 200 ml heavy cream
- Boiling salted water
- 40 g pine nuts toasted
- In a small bowl, add the saffron threads and pour 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water on them. Let this sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, olive oil, and salt. Add the saffron threads, including the water, and mix until well-incorporated. Add the flour and form a dough, first by using a spatula, and then, by using your hands. As soon as the dough begins to form and it is starting to get difficult to work with g in the bowl, transfer the dough onto your work surface and knead it well with your hands for approx. 7 minutes until it’s smooth and supple. Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with foil and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Cut the dough into 3 parts, put 2 parts back into the fridge with the foil. Roll out one portion into a rectangular of approx. 40 cm length and 25 cm height (15×10 inch) as thin as possible on a lightly floured work surface until the dough is translucent (approx. 1 mm). Continuously remove the dough from the work surface while rolling it out, so it won’t stick to the surface. Dust the dough with a little flour, fold the long side from the top and bottom into the middle. Dust again with a little flour and fold the already folded long sides in the middle once again. Cut into strips approx. 0.5 cm wide with a sharp knife. Unfold the strips to create Tagliatelle. Repeat with all of the pieces, using all leftover dough from all the batches. Place the Tagliatelle on a lightly floured cutting board.
- In a small bowl, add the saffron threads and pour the Champagne on them. Let this sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the meat, brown it on all sides for approx. 2 minutes, remove it from the pan, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
- Heat the butter in the same pan, add the onion, and sauté for approx. 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt, briefly steam until the resulting liquid has evaporated. Add the champagne and the Saffron, deglaze, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the heavy cream, and continue simmering for a few minutes until the contents have reduced by half. Add the meat, just to heat it up.
- Cook the Tagliatelle in boiling, salted water for approx. 3 minutes. Drain well, add to the Champagne-Veal-Sauce in the pan, and carefully mix. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts.