A simple pot of pasta for lazy cooking days. Saffron and cream are a match-made in heaven in this Creamy Saffron Vegetable Pasta.
Use any pasta shape you want and don’t forget to season generously with sea salt and chilli flakes. Tender veggies balance out the richness of the sauce and chopped parsley adds a much welcome fresh factor.
The reason why this pasta recipe is one I always keep in my dinner rotation is because you can customise it so easily. Don’t have broccoli? Just throw some cauliflower in. If it’s asparagus season, pop those in instead of runner beans. A handful of sweetcorn can replace peas easily (especially if you have tinned), too. As a result, you can use whatever veggies you have to hand and still create a sensational meal. I’ve made this many times with squash like courgette, butternut and pumpkin and it’s delicious every time.
Not if you add a small amount. In this Creamy Saffron Vegetable Pasta, just enough saffron is used to infuse the cream and provide a delicate, musky flavour. Once the saffron turns the cream a lovely shade of daffodil, you know you’re on the right track.
What if I don’t have saffron?
The flavour of saffron is what gives this dish most of its character. Definitely get a box of good-quality saffron for your store cupboard, even if you only ever use it for this dish. Truthfully, a little goes a very long way and one box will last you ages.
Always go to a reputable dealer or spice stockist.
To test if your saffron is real, soak a few strands in hot water. If yellow/orange dye comes off, leaving a white coloured strand then the saffron is bogus. This is a trick used by spice cons who use artificially-dyed corn husk fibres to replace the delicate saffron strands. They won’t have a musky aroma and will be of no use. What a mistak-er to make-er. Bin them and don’t buy the same ones again. I’ve made this mistake before.
American and Mexican saffron is not the same as genuine saffron. It is made from safflower and has the same colour and appearance, but no taste or smell. Again, a pointless purchase.
Once you find a genuine box/packet of good saffron, remember the brand and stick to it. In my opinion, Spanish ‘La Mancha’ saffron is the most wonderful (unless you happen to live near a pond full of saffron crocuses and pick your own). Do you think they do saffron P.Y.O’s? Maybe at Lakshmi Mittal’s pad.
To get the most out of your saffron, place it in a bowl and microwave it on high for 10-15 seconds to lightly toast it and dry it out (be VERY careful and keep a watchful eye on it). Gently rub it through your fingers when you add it to your dish and it will release heaps of flavour and colour. Magic.
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Here’s what you need to do to get this creamy vegan pasta on the table in under 30 minutes!
Use a very large pot and lots of hot water (I boil the water in the kettle first to save time). Add plenty of salt. The water should taste like the sea! Cook for the amount of time stated on the packet.
Heat the olive oil an a seperate pan, add the onion and saute briefly. Next, brown the mushrooms with the onions. Finally, add the rest of the veggies, saffron and stock. Simmer for 5 mins or so until the veggies are tender.
Add the cream, season with salt and chilli and throw in the parsley. Tip in the pasta and stir well to coat. Heat through and serve hot.
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Psst, if you like this recipe, you’ll love this Squash & Mascarpone Pasta.