Creamy Saffron Tagliatelle with Corn

Creamy Saffron Tagliatelle with Corn

Confession – I’ve been hoarding a lovely little jar of saffron for ages, almost afraid to use her – her pretty threads just lying in wait.  Until today!  Today is the first time I’ve used saffron, ever, and like most amazing spices, I can see why men traveled for months to procure it, used it as currency, etc., and why it’s still so darned expensive!

I’m hesitant to use super specialized ingredients in recipes that I post, unless I know I can convince you of your budget shopping savyness, and ability to track them down on the cheap.

For instance, saffron, truffles, truffle oil, champagne vinegar, vanilla beans – it’s virtually impossible to find these in most areas, let alone afford them, unless you know where to look.  I’ve purchased these items at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and eBay for next to nothing, and without giving up quality.

So don’t be afraid when you see “fancy” ingredients, just get creative, or ask me :).

I say that, and in the next breath tell you that the recipe calls for tagliatelle, for which I searched high and low, and settled on a nice 5-color veggie fettuccine instead.  You might have better luck than I, being that I was looking in Western Maryland and West Virginia.  So don’t give up.

And with all that, corn week continues, with this awesome pasta dish that highlights the sweetness of fresh corn with a kick and creaminess, all its own.

I love that a little bit of wine and cream create a sauce that borders on indulgent, without being so.

The recipe calls for one ladle of pasta water being added, but I’d reserve more and add as needed, as I think the pasta was a little dry without.

This is a great Meatless Monday dish, easy to throw together, delicious, complex, great on its own, or as a side dish.  Will definitely be making this again.  Enjoy!

Saffron Corn Pasta Prep

Creamy Saffron Tagliatelle with Corn


1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 healthy pinches saffron threads

Salt and pepper

1 pound egg tagliatelle, such as Delverde

3 ears corn

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 fresno chile pepper, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 shallots, finely chopped

3 – 4 cloves  garlic, grated or chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup white wine

About 1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy cream

A generous handful grated parmigiano-reggiano, plus more for topping

Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for topping


In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable stock and saffron to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer to reduce by one-third while you continue cooking. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water.

While the pasta is working, place a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Set an ear of corn on the small bowl and, using a sharp paring knife, scrape the corn kernels off the cob, collecting them in the large bowl. Repeat with the remaining ears. In a large, deep skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Melt the butter into the oil and when it foams, add the corn. Cook the corn until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chile, shallots and garlic; season with salt, pepper and the thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the flour for 1 minute; add the lemon zest. Pour in the wine to deglaze. Stir in the saffron stock and bring to a bubble. Stir in the cream, a couple of slow turns of the pan, then lower the heat to a simmer.

Stir the cheese into the sauce. Add the pasta and toss with the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes, using a little of the reserved pasta cooking water to mix. Top with more cheese and the parsley.

From Rachael Ray Magazine.

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