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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pasta in a Creamy Artichoke and Saffron Sauce (from RACHAEL RAY EXPRESS LANE MEALS)

The saffron does all the work for you in this dish-you'll freak out when you take your first bite and actually taste how easy this was to make. Since you'now have saffron on hand, next time you're making regular old rice, add a pinch of saffron and your rice will taste extraordinary.


1 pound long-cut or short-cut pasta
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), plus some for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 generous pinch saffron
Black pepper
3/4 cup white wine (eyeball it)
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
About 1/3 cup heavy cream or half-and-half (eyeball it)
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, a couple of generous handfuls, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, plus some to pass at the table
6 cups chopped greens, romaine or mixed
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Crusty bread

Place a large pot of water with a tight-fitting lid over high heat and bring it to a boil to cook the pasta. Once it comes up to a boil, add some salt and the pasta. Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain well.

While the pasta is cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the 2 tablespoons of EVOO, twice around the pan. Add the onions, garlic, saffron, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for
about 4 minutes, or until the onions start to look tender. The onions will turn an outrageous yellow color, which is the saffron at work. Add the white wine; continue to cook until the wine has almost evaporated,
about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cream, then bring the sauce up to a bubble and simmer for about 4 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook until heated through, about 1 minute more. The sauce will be a
beautiful yellow and will seem a little thin. Add the parsley and drained pasta and stir to combine with the sauce. The pasta will start soaking up the sauce right away. Turn the heat off, add the grated cheese, and stir to distribute. Taste and season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a little extra grated cheese.

Drizzle the greens with balsamic vinegar and EVOO, season with some salt and pepper, and toss. Serve the salad alongside the pasta with the crusty bread.

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