I made this pasta a while ago on one of the many cold and rainy days of february when the heat wasn’t working, and I figured a warm unending bowl of pasta would cure everything. Leafing through a book that focuses on inventive pasta dishes, Pasta Sfoglia, I found the idea I’d been looking for with the charming and unexpected addition of golden raisins.
In this case the raisins are plumped in saffron butter, and off centered by goat cheese and a pinch of black pepper. The pairing of subtle saffron with bold goat cheese is an unusual and refreshing update on everyday pasta fare. It’s a dish that manages to be both exciting and comforting at the same time, which is always welcome in my book. It is also extremely easy to make and came together in half an hour.
Saffron pasta with spinach and raisins (inspired by a recipe in Pasta Sfoglia)
1/2 lb pasta (linguine, fettuccine, or paparadelle)
6 T unsalted butter
½ tsp saffron threads
¼ cup reserved pasta water
½ cup golden raisins
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 lb chopped fresh spinach or swiss chard leaves
1/4 cup goat cheese torn in dollops
Cook linguine in boiling water with a hefty pinch of salt until it is 2 minutes from being al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking water
Melt the butter over medium high heat. Add Saffron threads and raisins and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add spinach or chard and let wilt 1 minute.
Stir in noodles, pasta water, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 2 minutes until noodles are al dente
Serve with fresh grated parmesan, cracked pepper, and fresh goat cheese