This month I am cooking with one of my favorite spices…Saffron!
I love the floral aroma and gorgeous color it adds to food.
My first recipe combines two of my favorite comfort foods…creamy pastina and mini meatball soup.
The addition of saffron along with the layering of flavors and textures is absolute perfection.
Everyone at my dinner table agreed that this dish is a new regular…. Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did.
Best part? The leftovers were even better the next day!
Creamy Saffron Pastina with Turkey Mini Meatballs
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons Saffron threads, divided
64 ounces of Chicken Stock
20.8 ounces of Ground Turkey Breast
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups of Frozen Petite Peas
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg, divided
1 Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon of Hot Paprika
One box (13.25 ounces) of Mini Pasta Shells
10 oz. Lite Alfredo Sauce
Salt & Pepper
1. Prepare Mini Turkey Meatballs
- In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey, egg, parmesan, breadcrumbs, hot paprika, Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
- Roll into mini meatballs ( about 1 rounded teaspoon each) and set aside.
2. Prepare Saffron Stock and Cook Mini Turkey Meatballs
- In a large stock pot, warm the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the shallots. Cook until shallots are translucent.
- Add chicken stock, carrots , bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste).
- Bring to a boil. Add 3/4-1 teaspoon of saffron and frozen peas.
- Simmer until carrots are tender (about 15 minutes).
- Drop mini meatballs into the saffron stock.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes until turkey is thoroughly cooked.
- Keep warm.
3. Prepare Pasta
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon saffron to pasta water.
- Add pasta to the boiling water. (Check pasta box for cooking times.)
- When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain pasta (reserving 1 cup of the pasta water).
4. Prepare Saffron Pasta Sauce
- In a large saucepan, warm the Alfredo sauce. Whisk in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Toss pasta with Saffron Pasta Sauce to coat.
- First, add a serving of the creamy pastina to a bowl.
- Next, layer the mini meatballs, carrots, peas and saffron stock.
- Garnish with grated cheese, red pepper flakes.
- Serve with garlic bread.