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Really Buttery Saffron Tagliatelle

Really Buttery Saffron Tagliatelle


  • Salt

  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle, such as Delverde

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water)

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered

  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered

  • 1 small rib celery, quartered

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 1 large curl each lemon and orange zest

  • 2 pinches saffron threads (about 30), plus more for garnishing

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seed

  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a little of the starchy cooking water. While the pasta is working, in a large, deep skillet, combine the stock (or water), wine, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, citrus zest and saffron; season lightly with salt if using stock, or more heavily if using water. Bring to a boil and let reduce very rapidly to 1 1/2 cups, 15-20 minutes. Strain and return to the pan. Stir in the butter to melt over low heat. Add the pasta, poppy seeds and some cheese to the sauce. Toss for 1-2 minutes to combine. Serve with the remaining cheese and garnish with a few extra threads of saffron.