August 12, 2009

pasta in saffron oil

This was a clever recipe I found while I was on a regular visit to one of my favorite food sites, Tastespotting. I get so much ideas and inspiration from the creative food lovers in this group. The inspiration for this came from Foodgal. I put my own twist to the dish and instead of using the high quality tuna as Foodgal suggested, I went for a variation with more Spanish flavors. I used spicy sausages, roasted red bell peppers, black olives and chopped fresh parsley. The combination worked pretty well. The first step is to steep the saffron threads in olive oil, the longer the better. Mix about 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads in a tablespoon of hot water. Then heat up 1/3 cup of olive oil then add the saffron and water mix. Remove from heat and allow to sit to develop a more intense color. Meanwhile, cut up the red bell peppers and brush with olive oil before roasting. Roast them skin side up, allow to cool and slice into strips. I often use the toaster oven for small roasting jobs like this. In a skillet, cook the thinly sliced sausages then add minced garlic and chopped onions. Add the olives, sliced roasted bell peppers and half of the parsley (use the rest for garnish). Season with salt and pepper. Toss the cooked and drained pasta (I used some fettucine I made from scratch) in the saffron oil then top with the sausage mixture. The saffron oil imparts a deep yellow color to the pasta. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and some grated parmesan cheese.

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