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Pasta Primavera with Saffron Cream

Pasta Primavera with Saffron Cream


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 bundle thin springs asparagus, trimmed of ends and thinly sliced on bias

  • 1 cup fresh peas

  • 1/3 pound (a handful) thin green beans (haricots verts), cut into thirds on bias

  • 1 bunch green spring onions, thin leeks or fat scallions, thinly sliced on bias, whites and greens separated

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken or vegetable stock

  • 1 cup cream

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 pinch (about 24) saffron threads

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

  • Egg or semolina pappardelle or fettuccine

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigaino-Reggiano, plus some to pass at table

  • Finely chopped parsley, basil and chives, to serve


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add asparagus, peas, beans, whites of onions, leeks or scallions, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir and toss to tender-crisp 3-5 minutes. Add wine or stock.

In a small saucepot, bring cream, lemon zest and saffron threads to a low boil. Simmer 3 minutes to thicken then remove from heat.

Salt boiling water liberally and cook pasta 1 minute under suggested time for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup liquid then drain.

Toss pasta with reserved cooking liquid, vegetables, infused cream, grated cheese and a fat drizzle of EVOO for a full minute. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with chives, basil, and parsley. Pass more cheese at the table.