Pasta's great if you're broke: It feeds a crowd and pleases everyone while doing it. Saffron, however, is a pricey spice – the most expensive in the world, in fact, because it is such a labor intensive crop to harvest.
Saffron gives this Malloreddus Pasta its gorgeous golden hue and a delicate, earthy flavor. While each and every bite of the pasta is infused with the spice, don't worry: it doesn't drive up the cost much at all. Consider it a tasty glimpse of how the other half lives.
As fun to say as it is to eat, malloreddus' ridged shells are similar to cavatelli, but with deeper crevices. Sfoglini Pasta Shop, one of our favorite Brooklyn-based makers, uses organic American-grown semolina flour to make the dough, one batch at a time. They also use traditional bronze dies and air-dry at low temperatures, which gives the dried pasta an even, toothsome texture when cooked.
Plus, the ribs create awesome nooks and crannies for the sauce to cling to, making it a good choice for heavy-duty sauces or rich cheeses. Our current favorite sauce for this luxurious saffron pasta is a rich tomato with mixed seafood, such as baby shrimp, scallops and calamari. Add some fish and some red pepper flakes and you’ve got yourself one good meal.
This is more than just an emergency dinner, it's a sleight-of-hand feast.