Mainly because the original recipe calls for making your own saffron tagliatelle from scratch and with me yet to invest in a pasta making machine but also too committed to sticking to a recipe to use plain tagliatelle (which would work actually just fine here) I had been holding off making this until saffron scented linguine and me would finally cross paths and INDEED WE DID!
For Ottolenghi standards this dish is whipped up easily and quickly but the end result is full of wonderful textures (particularly the crispy chipotle shallots are a game changer), fresh and zingy flavours and ingredients that on paper shouldn't work together but create a rather outstanding and unusual pasta main.
Will make again.
- 400g saffron linguine (though normal tagliatelle or linguine will do too)
- 50ml olive oil, plus 2 tbsp extra to serve
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp extra to serve
- 60g parmesan, finely grated
- 120g ricotta ½ tsp saffron threads, soaked in 75ml boiling water for 1 hour
FOR THE CHIPOTLE SHALLOTS
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 shallots, peeled, very thinly sliced (use a mandoline, ideally) and rings separated
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ¾ tsp coriander seeds
- ¾ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp chipotle flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
FOR THE PICKLED GREEN CHILLIES
- 2 green chillies, cut into thin rounds
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- ½ tsp caster sugar¼ tsp salt
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a high flame, then add all the shallot ingredients and fry for seven minutes; use a spatula to separate the rings as they cook.
- Turn the heat to medium-low, cook for six minutes more, until caramelised and a deep golden brown, then transfer to a plate lined with baking paper and spread the shallots out – they’ll be a bit sticky, but will crisp up a little as they cool.
- Mix all the ingredients for the pickled green chillies in a small bowl.
- Put 50ml oil, the garlic and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a large saute pan on a medium-high heat, fry gently for two minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente, then drain; reserve 140ml of the cooking water.
- Tip the hot pasta into the garlic pan and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Add the reserved pasta water, the saffron and its water, the parsley and lots of pepper, and toss.
- Add the parmesan bit by bit, tossing as it melts, for two to three minutes.
- Transfer the pasta to the serving bowls and dot with ricotta.
- Top with the shallots, pickled chillies, a teaspoon and a half of the pickling liquid, the last of the parsley and a good grind of pepper, and serve at once.