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Milk Street Recipe
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Milk Street Bowtie Spaghetti with Tomato-Saffron Sauce

Spaghetti with Tomato-Saffron Sauce

35 minutes

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Spaghetti with Tomato-Saffron Sauce

Free

Milk Street Facebook Community member Clare Hardy of Durham, North Carolina takes a few pantry ingredients and makes an easy but elegant tomato sauce for pasta. She infuses allium-accented tomatoes with the one-of-kind fragrance and flavor of saffron, then enriches the sauce at the end with crème fraîche. Hardy uses finely chopped tomatoes sold in a carton (aseptic packaging); we found that canned crushed tomatoes have a similar texture and tend to be more widely available in supermarkets. The recipe below calls for spaghetti, but just about any pasta shape works nicely.

4-6

Servings

Tip

Don’t forget to bloom the saffron threads in ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. This helps fully extract their flavor and aroma. Also, don’t substitute sour cream for the crème fraîche. Sour cream is lower in fat, so its taste and consistency are thinner, and it will break when heated.

35 minutes

1 pound spaghetti
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes or 26.6-ounce carton finely chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup crème fraîche
Ingredients
  • 1

    pound spaghetti

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
  • 3
  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    medium shallots, finely chopped

  • 2

    tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine

  • 28

    ounce can crushed tomatoes or 26.6-ounce carton finely chopped tomatoes

  • ½

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼

    cup crème fraîche

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Reviews
maureen s.

Very good. Simple to make and better than a plain tomato sauce. Of course I added parmesan to it. Goes in the "make again" category even though I don't keep CRÈME FRAÎCHE on hand.


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Spaghetti with Tomato-Saffron Sauce

Get Ready to Cook

4-6

Servings

35 minutes

Tip

Don’t forget to bloom the saffron threads in ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. This helps fully extract their flavor and aroma. Also, don’t substitute sour cream for the crème fraîche. Sour cream is lower in fat, so its taste and consistency are thinner, and it will break when heated.

Ingredients
  • 1

    pound spaghetti

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
  • 3
  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    medium shallots, finely chopped

  • 2

    tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine

  • 28

    ounce can crushed tomatoes or 26.6-ounce carton finely chopped tomatoes

  • ½

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼

    cup crème fraîche

Step 1 of 2

Cook Pasta

1
pound spaghetti
Kosher salt
¼
teaspoon saffron threads

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. In a small bowl, stir together ¼ cup of the reserved water and the saffron; set aside.

Step 2 of 2

Finish and Serve

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3
medium garlic cloves, minced
2
medium shallots, finely chopped
2
tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine
28
ounce can crushed tomatoes or 26.6-ounce carton finely chopped tomatoes
½
teaspoon dried oregano
¼
cup crème fraîche
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the oil, garlic and shallots. Cook, stirring often, until the aromatics are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the vermouth and scrape up any browned bits, then stir in the tomatoes, oregano and saffron water.


Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Stir in the crème fraîche, then add the spaghetti and cook, stirring constantly and adding more reserved water as needed, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce clings to the noodles, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, taste and season with salt and pepper.

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