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Fettuccine with Asparagus, Peas and Saffron

Fettuccine with Asparagus, Peas and Saffron

A lighter but satisfying pasta that pairs nicely with a sparkling wine like the Nino Franco Brut with more complex savory notes
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Author Adapted from "Simple" by Diana Henry


  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 7 oz. dry white vermouth
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • 18 oz fresh fettuccine
  • 14 oz asparagus tips
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • Pecorino cheese, finely grated


  • Mix saffron threads with 6 tablespoons of boiling water.  Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • For the sauce:  Melt butter in a large sauté pan and sauté the shallots until soft but not taking on any color.  Add the vermouth and boil until it has reduced to about 6 tablespoons.  Add the saffron water, chicken stock and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Add the heavy cream and bring to a gentle boil.  Season with salt and pepper and boil until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.  Add lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
  • Steam the asparagus tips until just tender.  Set aside and keep warm.
  • Cook the fettuccine in boiling water with a good pinch of salt added.  Cook about 1 minute less than the package instructions and add frozen peas to the pasta for the last minute. Test the pasta that it is cooked.  Drain and add pasta and peas to the sauce, gently stir in the asparagus tips.  Serve with pecorino cheese.