Spaghetti with Saffron Red Pepper Sauce and Gruyère

I had pasta yesterday, and so did I tonight. I didn’t cook tonight, but I did yesterday. Ce soir, I ate at an Italian restaurant. I had Chicken Marsala (with pasta, of course). Pasta is a food that I don’t tire of easily. Maya doesn’t either.

Four years ago, while working on a chapter about food with my students, I asked them to write what they had for dinner the entire previous week, hoping they’d use as much vocabulary as possible. A girl, whose name I can’t remember, but whose light blond highlights on jet black hair I will never forget, wrote les pâtes (pasta) for every single night. When I told her I wanted more effort than writing the same word seven times, she innocently answered: but, madame, that’s what I eat every night. I asked her if she didn’t get tired of having it all week. She said it was totally fine.

I guess pasta is truly a dish one can have often and be happy every time. It’s versatile enough that every night’s pasta dinner can taste completely different.

Spaghetti with Saffron Red Pepper Sauce and Gruyère

4 servings

2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pinches saffron
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 (14-ounce) box of multi-grain spaghetti
4 ounces gruyère, freshly shredded
A handful chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Place the red bell peppers and shallots in a medium saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, and saffron. Add the olive oil and sauté over medium heat, 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer until the red bell peppers are very soft and the liquid reduced to half, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the yogurt. Blend on high in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain.

Add the pasta to the red pepper sauce and mix well. Plate, top with shredded gruyère and garnish with chopped cilantro.


One Response to “Spaghetti with Saffron Red Pepper Sauce and Gruyère”

  1. 1

    Nhung — 10/28/2010 @ 4:10 am

    Are you chef? you know cook more foods. You're excellent.

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