Maccheroni with Sausage and Saffron

This is a nice transitional dish as we move from late summer into early autumn.  We are using Granna Padano, but you can certainly use Pecorino or Parmesan.  We are using sweet sausage today, but fennel sausage would be delicious with saffron as would a spicy variety.



Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then add 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
  • Soak the saffron in 1 tablespoon warm water.
  • Meanwhile, soften the onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the thyme over the onions along with a grating of pepper and a pinch of salt. Remove the casing from the sausage. Break it up into bits and add it to the skillet with the onions. Add the additional tablespoon of oil and cook until the meat has browned, about 5 minutes. Drain the fat. Add the cream and bring to a slow boil. Add the saffron and soaking liquid.
  • Cook the macaroni in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, 12-13 minutes. Reserve a ladle full of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and transfer to the sauté pan. Add the grated cheese. Shake and stir until the pasta is coated with sauce, adding a splash or two of pasta water if it is too dry.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley (or fennel fronds). Pass additional grated cheese.
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