I love to make fresh pasta. I have a recipe that I use to make a decent size batch of which I never use all of for what I am making allowing me to freeze some for future use (550g of AP Flour, 4 whole eggs, 6 egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil). I have now decided to branch out of the normal egg pasta and try different flavors. So far I have use fennel powder (utilizing fennel fronds that I dehydrated and powdered in a spice grinder), beet powder (same process using cooked beets), and saffron. The saffron pasta is what has inspired the most. I love paella. It is one of those classic dishes that to me encompasses all that I love in food. Simplicity, elegance, luxurious yet still rustic. So I have decided to redo the classic paella in my own way.

I started with a saffron concentrate. Mixing 1 teaspoon of saffron with 4 tablespoons of boiling water. Add the two and allow to cool. Then I mixed just enough of the concentrate to color and flavor my pasta. Next, I cooked off some chicken leg meat, scallops, shrimp, and mussels finally adding just a little more of the saffron water at the end for enhance flavor. I rolled out my pasta and hand cut it into half inch thick noodles. A quick boil brought the noodles to life at which point I added them to the finished chicken and seafood melody. Finally, a finishing touch of butter and shaved Idiazábal cheese and voila, a new paella. Not much of a change but a twist if you will from what we all know as a classic Spanish dish to a new classic Spanish dish with an Italian look. Next time I think I will make the concentrate of saffron with boiling hot white wine instead of water.

–matt bolus

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