I almost jump at every opportunity to use saffron in my cooking. I have an unexplained love for it’s delicate strands, gorgeous colour, and subtle earthy flavour. Saffron is harvested from the Crocus sativus flower, a member of the Iris family. Cultivated for thousands of years in Asia Minor, it is used in perfumes, dyes, medicine and, of course, for its wonderful flavour in food and drinks. There’s something so beautiful about the deep maroon shade of the strands and the rich golden yellow that comes from the tip of the thread (from which the saffron spice is derived.) It makes me smile from the inside out. 🙂
“According to Greek mythology, handsome mortal Crocos fell in love with the beautiful nymph Smilax. But alas, his favors were rebuffed by Smilax, and he was turned into a beautiful purple crocus flower.” (about.com)
This dinner all began with a request for lobster tagliatelle. I didn’t know where to begin, so I began where I always do…the recipe hunt. I was looking for simple recipes that required ingredients I already had at home. (Minus the lobster of course.) I found a few seafood tagliatelle recipes that I liked, but stuck with this one as a guideline, making my own alterations here and there based on what I wanted to make and the ingredients I had available at home. The result was a lobster linguine in a light creamy sauce. Delicious!
Lobster Linguine With Saffron & Cream
- Pinch of saffron (see step 1 before prepping all other ingredients)
- A glass of white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped or put through garlic press (I always use lots of garlic, you can use as little as 1 clove if you’re not a big-time garlic fan)
- 3 small lobsters (tails and/or claws), de-shelled and cut into 1-inch cubes. (Use more or less if you like.) Parts of the claw I couldn’t get out of the shell easily I left in the shell.**
- Linguine (about 1 pound of dried pasta)
- 1 cup half & half cream (Most recipes use whipping cream/heavy cream. This will give you a much creamier sauce. I was trying to use the ingredients I had, and to cut back on fat content.)
- Sea salt & black pepper to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped. (Use more or less depending on personal preference.)
**This recipe can be used to make a seafood pasta as well. Substitute the lobster with any seafood you like. You can use clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, crab, fish or squid. Or use a mixture!
1. Soak the saffron strands in the white wine. I did this right away and let it soak while I prepped all the rest of the ingredients. It will turn a gorgeous golden yellow-orange colour. 🙂
2. Cook the linguine al dente in boiling, lightly salted water. (About 8 minutes max) Drain, rinse in cold water to stop from overcooking, put back in pot, drizzle with a bit of olive oil to keep from sticking together and set aside.
3. Add a little olive oil (about a tablespoon) and the chopped garlic to your pan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until softened.
4. Add all of the lobster to the pan and mix it around.
5. Add saffron wine mixture to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook the lobster until the meat begins to become opaque. It took me about 5 minutes, but keep an eye on it, so as not too overcook. Overcooking the lobster will make it dry and rubbery.
6. Add cream and parsley overtop of the lobster, mix and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Mix the cooked linguine into the cream sauce. The sauce should have thickened up a bit by now. I mixed small portions of pasta into the pan at a time and tossed it around to get it heated up evenly and well-coated in the sauce.
8. Plate and serve your masterpiece! You can drizzle with a bit more olive oil and add a bit of fresh chopped parsley overtop if you like.
So glad I found another yummy way to use saffron! In the photos above, my lobster linguine was served with garlic Tiger shrimp on the side. (Another recipe I’ll post.) Hope this worked out for you! Let me know how you liked it! Xx