Queen Cleopatra knew a thing or two about love magic. Before seeing her lovers she used to take long steamy baths scented with fragrant threads of saffron. She knew that they were filled with lust awakening properties and to this day she is known as one of the best lovers in history. Saffron's aphrodisiac properties are also confirmed by modern science. It's been proven not to only enhance one's libido but to also aid in reducing high blood pressure and respiratory problems.
Saffron is the world's most expensive spice but it does not take too much of it to transform your dish and to give it that exotic, luxurious and unforgettable aroma. Only few aromatic threads are potent enough to elevate your meal and subsequently - your spirits in the bedroom. Cooking with saffron is that exciting foreplay filled with mystery, surprise and pleasant delights to come.
This pasta may very well become one of the most popular dishes in your repertoire. It's creamy, satisfying, unusual and exotic. Perfumed with floral notes of saffron, rich cream and the most surprising spice of them all - sweet vanilla. Garnished with invigorating lemon zest and chives that masterfully add another flavour nuance to this unforgettable dish. I like to add a couple of drops of rose water on the plate, around the pasta for another layer of floral aroma. It makes the dish that much more luxurious, striking and mysterious. It's like taking that once in a lifetime trip, a honeymoon where everything is about the adventure, lust and magical new discoveries.
1 shallot, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, pinch of saffron threads, 1/2 cup heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups of Penne pasta, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest and chives for garnish.
Boil water for your pasta. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and saffron and cook, until the shallot is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste; increase the heat to medium high and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the label directs. Reserve some pasta water, then drain the pasta and transfer to the skillet with the sauce. Add the reserved cooking water and half of the chives and toss to coat. Serve topped with the lemon zest, remaining chives.