Spring Green Pasta with Saffron Cream Sauce

I know it’s mid-May and I should have had it done by now but I’ve been spring cleaning today. Rearranging things, changing a/c filters, dusting, dusting, dusting! I have a labradoodle, a goldendoodle and a maine coon mix cat so there is always something to dust off or a floating tumbleweed of hair to pick up around my house. I also have a bad habit of redecorating or moving pictures around and then leaving the items I don’t know where to put in the corner of the room! I have some new crafty projects that I want to get into while I’m out of school for the summer so I’m making myself clean up some unused items and get rid of what I no longer want! If I haven’t used it since I moved in 3 years ago it’s going to Goodwill!

With a newly spring cleaned house I wanted a spring pasta! Last weekend when I shopped at Nadolski’s I found a beautiful little glass jar of saffron…and grabbed it up! While browsing for recipe ideas I ran across a new post from Aida Mollenkamp. I have adored her and her recipes for a few years. One of my favorite recipes of hers, that I have seriously made over and over again, is her Sweet Sausage and Three Cheese Lasagna. I’m pretty sure that recipe is the reason I first started a recipe box on foodnetwork.com. Really!! The last few times I made lasagna I have made an eggplant roasted vegetable version but her version is the BEST as far as meat lasagnas go.

Here are some of the ingredients ready to be turned into yummy pasta! Look at that beautiful looking, locally grown asparagus!

Spring Green Pasta with Saffron Cream Sauce

(adapted from Aida Mollenkamp)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large pinch saffron threads
  • 8 ounces fettuccine (I used linguine)
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 6 ounces mushrooms (I used shiitake)
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 1 large shallot, minced (the recipe called for leeks and I didn’t have any)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves

Preparation

  • Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to simmer add saffron and set aside until ready to use, at least 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and prep vegetables. Cut the asparagus and peas on the bias into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut the stems off of the shiitake mushrooms and slice them into strips. Mince the shallot.
  • Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add shallot, salt pepper, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add mushrooms (and a small 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter…I think mushrooms should always be cooked with a little butter!!). Once the mushrooms are tender add the asparagus and peas, stirring occasionally until bright green. Add cream, turn heat to medium-low.
  • When the pasta water boils, salt well and cook according to package directions. Before draining pasta reserve 1 cup of pasta water (I only used about 1/2 cup of the water). Add noodles to cream and vegetable mixture. Using tongs stir it together adding enough pasta water to make it the desired consistency. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • When pasta is well coated stir in most of the tarragon. Garnish with additional tarragon when serving.

Here is the cream and veggies cooking together:

And the pasta and veggies plated:

This is so delicious! My son refused to eat it because he saw too many green vegetables…and he hates mushrooms… but my boyfriend Travis loved it. We served it along with a small grilled flank steak. I only had like 3 bites of steak because I wanted to save room for more pasta! Make it and let me know when you do 🙂

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