Saffron spaghetti with wine & prawns

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My second attempt at homemade spaghetti turned out pretty perfectly. I chose to infuse the pasta with saffron which worked beautifully well – the lovely saffron flavour came through so well and worked very nicely with the prawns. Surprisingly, I didn’t encounter any saffron hand-staining despite the heavy kneading of the pasta dough – I was kind of expecting yellow hands.

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I unfortunately couldn’t leave the egg and saffron to mingle for too long as I arrived home at 7pm and was getting hungry! So it wasn’t quite a ludicrously yellow as it could have been. No worries, the flavour tinged the pasta very well even with a short infusion. It was a dish of simple but powerful flavour that was incredibly satisfying. I’d recommend giving this a go if like me you love the combo of prawns and saffron! (Who on earth doesn’t?)

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You will need:

For the pasta:

100g tip 00 pasta flour, plus at least 100g extra to dust
1 large free range egg
A pinch of saffron
A little table salt


For the sauce:

12 best quality  fresh raw king prawns, peeled, butterflied and seasoned with salt
4 shallots, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml dry white wine
Small handful of finely chopped parsley
1 chopped fresh red chilli or 1 tspn chilli flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

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Method:

 

  1. Beat the egg together with the saffron; cover and pop in the fridge for as long as you can, at least 30 minutes (the longer you leave it, the yellower your pasta will turn!)
  2. Weigh out your flour and tip it into a large bowl along with the salt. Mix together and then use a fork to build up the flour into a mound and then create a large well in the centre
  3. Break the beaten egg mix straight into the well you’ve created in the flour – don’t worry if it spills out a little
  4. Use a fork to gradually whisk the eggs and the flour together
  5. Once you’ve whisked in most of the flour, ditch the fork and use your hands to combine the eggs and flour into a ball – it’ll be sticky but keep knocking it around until you form a dough ball
  6. At this point, set a timer and knead the dough over a floured surface for 10 minutes, thoroughly, until the dough turns noticeably more elastic, smooth and silky
  7. Wrap the dough well in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill
  8. While it’s chilling you can prepare your shallots, parsley, garlic, chilli and prawns. Then, put a large pot of heavily salted water on to boil
  9. Once your dough is nicely chilled, get your pasta out and clamp your pasta machine to your longest available surface and set the rollers on the widest setting (7)
  10. Squidge the dough a little with your fingers so that it flattens slightly and will be able to fit through the machine. Roll it through the past machine on setting 7
  11. Now adjust the machine to it’s second widest setting (6), dust the pasta with a little flour and feed the dough through the machine
  12. Adjust the machine back up to the widest setting (7) and roll the pasta through again, followed by a roll through the machine on setting 6 – repeat this step 3 more times until the dough is nicely rolled out, dusting the pasta occasionally as you go
  13. Now the dough should be rolled out nice and long; take it and fold it in half, then in half again (and maybe again) until you have a square of dough
  14. Turn the dough round 90 degrees and run it back through the widest machine setting (7), then the second thinnest, and so on until you pass it through setting 2 (tagliatelle is best not too thin so avoid rolling it right through the narrowest setting, 1). Remember to dust the pasta as you go
  15. At this stage, put your spaghetti cutter attachment on your machine and then cut the dough into 3 or 4 equal length portions
  16. Run each of these dough portions through the pasta cutter one by one, so that you get nice thin spaghetti strips. Place the spaghetti on a floured surface, and add a little flour over the top to prevent sticking. You may need to break apart some strands – just use your fingers to do this. Set the spaghetti aside and dust lightly with flour
  17. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and add the shallots and chilli; leave to soften over a gentle heat, stirring often, then add the garlic followed by the wine
  18. Once most of the wine has evaporated, add the prawns to the frying pan. A the same time, drop the pasta (in one go!) into the pan of boiling water, give it a quick stir to ensure it’s not stuck to the bottom of the pan or together and then put a lid on the pan
  19. Cook the prawns for 30 seconds-1 minute on each side until they just turn pink and then add 1/2 the lemon juice
  20. Drain the spaghetti once it’s cooked al dente, which will only take a minute or so; place a sieve over a bowl in your sink and drain the pasta
  21. Toss the pasta around in the frying pan containing your just-cooked prawns and add a tablespoon or two of the cooking water you caught in the bowl in the sink (the secret to perfect pasta!) and the parsley
  22. Serve immediately with extra lemon wedges and olive oil scattered on top – and a good handful of rocket on the side

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8 thoughts on “Saffron spaghetti with wine & prawns

  1. Oh gosh. I seriously need to try this Becky!!! I love prawns (or any seafood) with saffron, the combination is a match made in heaven. Oh to come home to this with a glass of wine. Perfect xx

  2. Beautiful! I love seeing the bits of saffron in the pasta dough. Have you ever used turmeric for more intense yellow? It works great. Love this recipe.

    1. Thank you! No not tried turmeric but I imagine it works well. I’ve tried beetroot but it just looked horrible and pale pink! (Perhaps beetroot powder??!) thanks for the tip!

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