Vegan Saffron Pasta
This silky vegan saffron pasta comes together using both starchy cooking water and a saffron stock to create a creamy, glossy and silky pasta that could be on your table in less than 20 minutes.
The formula used in this recipe is extremely simple. Pasta is boiled until around 50% cooked, and then finished in a deeply flavoured stock - in this case flavoured with saffron - creating a glossy starchy sauce, made infinitely creamier with the addition of plant based creme fraiche. Whilst saffron can’t be omitted here, as it is the hero and main flavour profile of the recipe, the recipe itself could be adapted and modified to suit what you have. If you had porcini mushrooms on hand, for example, you could add them to the stock in place of the saffron to create an equally earthy and rich pasta dish.
2 tbsp (30g) olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
400ml vegetable stock
1 pinch saffron (8-10 threads)
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp plant based creme fraiche (e.g. oatly creme fraiche)
1 tbsp plant based butter
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Add the finely chopped shallots, and sauté them for 8-10 minutes, until soft and starting to caramelise. Add the vegetable stock and bring it to a simmer.
Add the saffron to a small bowl and cover it with 1 tbsp of boiling water. Let the saffron steep for 5 minutes, then add it to the stock.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, and add the pasta.
Cook the pasta for ½ of the cooking time instructed on the package, then use tongs to transfer the pasta into the simmering stock along with 100ml of cooking water.
Continue to cook the pasta in the saffron stock, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced and the pasta is al dente.
Add the plant based creme fraiche and plant based butter to the pan, and stir it in for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce is thick and glossy, adding extra pasta water to loosen the sauce if it begins to feel too thick and stiff.
Serve the pasta topped with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Editor, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.