Saffron-Laced Pastina

Saffron-Laced Pastina Category Pasta 
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Ingredients And Procedures

1/4 ts Ground saffron

1/2 c Olive oil

2 Garlic cloves

-- finely minced or pressed 3 tb Freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 ts Ground cumin

2 ts Ground turmeric

1 ts Granulated sugar

Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 lb Semi de melone

-- (melon-seed shape) -OR- other pastina 2/3 c Pine nuts; lightly toasted

1/2 c Currants

-- plumped in hot water for -- about 20 min. and drained 1/4 c Chopped fresh mint

1/4 c Chopped fresh parsley

3 tb Chopped fresh coriander

Fresh mint sprigs or leaves Pomegranate seeds (optional) Orange blossom water (opt.) Dissolve saffron in olive oil and let stand about 15 minutes. Add garlic, lemon juice, cumin, turmeric, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Cook pasta in 3 quarts boiling water until very al dente. Drain and rinse well in cold water, then drain again. Place in a large bowl and toss with saffron-flavored oil. Cool to room temperature, occasionally stirring the pasta to coat thoroughly. Add pine nuts, drained currants, chopped mint, parsley, and coriander to pasta. Serve at room temperature garnished with mint sprigs or leaves and pomegranate seeds, if available. Sprinkle lightly with orange blossom water just before serving. SERVES 10 TO 12 AS SALAD OR SIDE DISH NOTE: To toast pine nuts, place them in a small heavy frying pan over moderate heat. Stir until they begin to turn golden. Remove from heat and pour onto a plate to cool. * Source: Cold Pasta by James McNair * Typed for you by Karen Mintzias

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