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Creamy Saffron Ricotta Pasta

Creamy Saffron Ricotta Pasta


  • Salt

  • About 1/3 cup EVOO

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 rounded teaspoon (1/3 palmful) saffron threads

  • 1 tablespoon each lemon zest and orange zest

  • 1 scant teaspoon red pepper flakes or ground pepperoncino

  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken stock or water

  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese (sheep's or cow's milk)

  • 1 cup grated pecorino cheese

  • 1 pound short pasta, such as malloreddus, or other small-cut, thin penne

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

  • ½ cup pistachios or pine nuts, toasted and chopped

  • Chives, finely chopped

  • Edible flowers (optional)


Serves: 4

Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta. When at full boil, salt water liberally. 

Warm oil over low heat with garlic, saffron, zest and red pepper flakes. When it has bubbled a couple minutes, swirl in stock and let reduce 2 to 3 minutes.  Add ricotta to a food processor bowl, add the bloomed saffron oil to the cheese and combine until very smooth, then transfer to large bowl.   

Cook pasta a minute less than directions and reserve 1 cup of starchy water. Transfer with spider (or drain in strainer, then add) to bowl with sauce and add the hot water to melt it all together. Stir in the thyme. 

Top pasta with nuts, chives and flowers (if using) and serve.