Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pasta with Shrimp Saffron Sauce


On my todo list for my stay in Sweden, "eat fish and shellfish" is way up on the very top. I love seafood, and it's impossible to find decent quality fish at reasonable prices in Munich. So, I'm trying to binge on it while I'm here in Stockholm, as evidenced by the marine blog posts of late.

This pasta sauce was one of those divine inspiration moments that came while we were browsing our supermarket trying to come up with a dinner plan. We realized that we had a bag of frozen shrimp at home, and fresh pasta was on sale. A match made in heaven, when combined with a creamy creme fraiche sauce and seasoned with saffron and some chili. The idea for the ad hoc shrimp stock (I couldn't help but use that rhyme) comes from one of my mother's staple recipes, a great shrimp curry sauce called Tages räkcurry.

Pasta with Shrimp Saffron Sauce
Serves 3.

The simple shrimp stock from this recipe is also great in fish/shellfish soups or sauces to serve with fish. It's a waste to ever throw shrimp shells away, when it's so easy to create a great stock for future purposes. Like any stock, it also keeps well when frozen in ice cube trays.

250 g fresh tagliatelle or linguine
700 g of unshelled shrimp
250 ml creme fraiche
0.5 Tbsp flour or 1 tsp starch
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 fresh chili pepper
0.5 g saffron
olive oil for frying
salt, pepper, lemon juice for seasoning

Shell the shrimps, and save the shells in a pot. Set shrimp aside. Almost cover the shrimp shells with water, then bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, strain the shells off, pour the stock back into the pot and reduce to about 350 ml.

Start heating up your pasta water, and don't forget to cook your pasta in time (what time is "in time" of course depends on if you're using fresh pasta as recommended).

While the stock is reducing, finely chop the onion and garlic clove. Trim all the white stuff and seeds from the chili, then chop it finely. Heat a pan to medium low heat, add a splash of olive oil, then slowly fry the onion, garlic and chili for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add flour, give it a stir and then add half of the stock and the saffron. Stir in creme fraiche and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a few minutes, then check the consistency and add more stock or creme fraiche if necessary. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add the shrimp and serve over your pasta.



Tartelette said...

I also had saffron on the mind! I am keeping this recipe bookmarked because I never think about adding saffron to savories except paella.
Sounds delicious!!

del said...

tartelette: Saffron is great with most seafood. My sister served a simple fish soup with salmon and cod for her birthday. She added a bit of saffron, and it really took the dish to another level.

I also find that apart from being a very good basis for the tastes, as in this pasta dish, saffron can also hold its own beautifully against rather strong flavours, as evidenced by paellas.