RECIPE

Saffron-Infused Fra Diavolo Sauce and Tagliatelle

Saffron and seafood make this pasta dish oh-so-special.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • A good pinch of saffron threads (20-24 threads)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 fresh chili pepper, such as red cherry or Fresno, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • A generous splash of dry sherry
  • 1 can Italian tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • A few leaves of basil, torn
  • 1 pound seafood (I use butterflied medium shrimp and small pieces of whitefish or flaked crabmeat)
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle or other long-cut pasta of choice

Preparation

Place a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Place the chicken stock and saffron in a small pot, bring to a bubble, lower the heat and simmer gently.

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the chili pepper, garlic, shallots and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring to soften, for 5 minutes. Stir in the sherry, then add the tomatoes and crush with a masher or spoon. Add the saffron-infused stock and the basil and bring to boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the sauce is reduced, 10-12 minutes. Add the seafood, cover the pan and cook the seafood through, 3-5 minutes.

Just before you add the seafood to the skillet, salt the pasta water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce to combine. Serve in shallow bowls.

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