Golden Ribbons Pasta with Zucchini and Tomato
Saffron sparks the flavor of this tomato sauce with zucchini over egg pasta. Serve with refreshing Green Melon Salad.
- 3 medium yellow vine-ripe tomatoes or yellow-green heirloom tomatoes or 1 cup yellow grape tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- A healthy pinch of saffron threads (about 25 threads)
- 1 pound egg tagliatelle
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 tablespoons good quality butter
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 pound small, firm zucchini, chopped into a small dice or short thin matchsticks
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large egg yolks
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
If using larger tomatoes, score the bottoms with an X, cutting through their outer skin only. Bring a small pot of water to a boil over medium heat and submerge the tomatoes for 1 minute. Remove and let cool for 1-2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed and chop the tomatoes into a fine dice, about a quarter inch. Reserve in small bowl. If using grape tomatoes, cut them in half and reserve.
Put the stock and saffron into a small pot over medium-low heat. Simmer gently. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat for the pasta. When the water is at a full, rolling boil, salt the water and add the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat with EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, and the butter. When the butter melts into the EVOO, add the shallot, zucchini, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and sauté until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and let them heat through. Add the pasta and stir gently.
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of the saffron stock. Pour the remaining stock and tempered eggs over the pasta and turn off the heat. Toss the pasta and the sauce for 1-2 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Serve the pasta immediately in shallow bowls garnished with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.