If you are looking for an elegant method of serving small, young, spring zucchini go no further. Fettuccine with Zucchini in a Saffron Cream Sauce is both flavorful and stylish and is sure to please. The delicate flavors of saffron and zucchini are perfectly suited to each other. The recipe, which is at the bottom of this post, can also be found on Giuliano Hazan’s brand new interactive iPad app.
Saffron, as you may know, is one of the world’s most expensive spices. Originally cultivated in Iran, saffron was prized by the Romans and made its way throughout Italy. Today, fields of the beautiful purple flower, a form of crocus, can be found growing in Abruzzo, Le Marche, and Sardinia. Always look for threads of saffron rather than powdered, which can be adulterated and often has quality control issues. Long used as a part of traditional healing methods as well as the dyeing of cloths, saffron is widely used in cooking. Its aroma is often considered sweet and grassy, and fortunately for everyone’s purse, a little goes a long way to create a beautiful and flavorful dish.
The secret of Fettuccine with Zucchini and Saffron is to cut the zucchini into sticks thin enough and cook them long enough to release their rich sweet flavor. In the app, Giuliano shows in his video how and why this works so well. The first page of the recipe lists both the ingredients and cookware. There is a Cookbook view, for those of us who want things traditional, and a step-by-step view with videos for each step where Giuliano walks us hand in hand through the recipe. The videos are short but they pack a lot of information in Giuliano’s amiable and easy style that helps viewers make the dish successfully. The final view is a Gantt chart called CulinView that gives you an entire flow of the dish from start to finish
In a traditional cookbook format, there is only one view option available. The recipe is static and the cook must imagine the dish. Sometimes there are pictures of photo perfect dishes but not the ingredients about to be used. A blog allows for more step-by-step photos. However, it is still a linear method, we start at the beginning and read through until the end. The beauty of the app is that if one chooses, one can start anywhere one likes. In the Giuliano Hazan iPad app there is a SpinView that puts all of the videos, steps and ingredients together in a way that allows the viewer to click on anything one wishes. Throughout the app the reader can make notes to themselves and add items to a shopping list/cart. Giuliano’s perplexed face as I learned to navigate what seemed obvious to him is seared into my memory. Fortunately, CulinApp took people like me into account, everything is easy to find and, although I must say I tried, there is no way to break the app.
We are thrilled that we can finally share the app with you. Below please find the recipe for Fettuccine with Zucchini and Saffron sauce. For the benefit of the videos, I encourage you to try the app. We would love to hear your feedback of what it was like making the recipe using the app. Buon Appetito!
FETTUCCINE WITH ZUCCHINI AND SAFFRON CREAM SAUCE
From THIRTY MINUTE PASTA by Giuliano Hazan
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 people
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion
- 1 1/2 pound zucchini
- pepper freshly ground
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- About 20 saffron strands, crumbled
- 1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, freshly grated
- 10 ounces dried egg fettuccine
- Put the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Crumble the saffron strands between your fingers into the pan. Cover and place over low heat.
- Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
- Peel the onion and finely chop it. Put the butter in a 12-inch skillet, add the chopped onion, and place over medium-high heat. Saute until the onion turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
- While the onion is sauteing, cut the zucchini into narrow, 1/8-inch-thick sticks 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. To accomplish this it will be necessary to cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices first. When the onion is ready, add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the zucchini is tender and lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Add the hot cream and saffron that is in the sucepan and continue cooking until the sauce thickens a little and the cream is reduced by about one-third, 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- While the cream is reducing, add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the fettuccine, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente.
- When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve at once.
This is a #PastaLove post.