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Print this Recipe    Saffron Pastina

Saffron-Laced Pastina
Yield: 10 servings

1/4 tsp ground saffron
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp granulated sugar
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb semi de melone, (melon-seed shape) or other pastina
2/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup currants, plumped in hot water for 20 minutes and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
fresh mint sprigs or leaves
pomegranate seeds (optional)
orange blossom water (optional)

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.

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