Penne Primavera Con Zafferano

Ingredients

350 gr of pasta (penne or tagliolini) 6 leeks
6 zucchini squashes
2 table-sp of mascarpone
1 gr. of saffron
2 table-sp of hot milk
3 table-sp of olive oil
grated parmigiano cheese

How to make the Penne primavera con zafferano:

Wither the sliced leeks in a pan with olive oil, add the  zucchini cut in cubes and cook for 12-15 minutes, then  add the mascarpone and the saffron melted in hot milk. In  the meantime cook the pasta in plenty of salted water.

Strain the pasta, add the vegetable sauce, sprinkle some  grated Parmigiano and serve at once.

The saffron

The cultivation of saffron has an ancient history; many documents testify how intense its cultivation was in S. Gimignano medieval economy. As a very expensive product it was an important element for the success of merchants from S. Gimignano at that time. In 1228 the Commune of S. Gimignano paid the debts contracted for the siege to the Castello Della Nera in part with saffron and in part with money, and in 1276 it set up in and out tolls which made it gain a lot for export duties. In 1295 the Commune assigned two people to the weighing of the saffron, established at the gates of the Town where tolls were collected.

The San Gimignano pure saffron is cultivated with natural methods which exclude any use of chemical products in each phase of cultivation, desiccation and preservation.

The saffron stigmas are packaged entire to grant the purest quality and their strong, spicy and slightly bitter aroma. The production of a kilogram of saffron needs about 150.000
flowers. Saffron is a very delicate spice, light and humidity damage it: it must be stored in well closed jars, in a dry and dark place. Among the most effective anti-oxidation elements coming from food there are the carotenoids, a family of yellow, orange and red pigments.

We meet them in vegetable tissues, especially in fruit and vegetables which, in most cases our organism can transform in vitamin A. Carotenoids in our organism have many functions: they contribute to control pathological phenomena that include the action of free radicals; they increment our immunological defenses; they act as generators of vitamin A; they increase the action of prevention from cancerogenesis. Under the same swallowed quantity the contents of carotenoids in saffron is about 8% against the 0,008% of carrots: a thousand times more.

Saffron contains other useful elements to our organism as vitamins B1 and B2 and many natural aromas; these two vitamins are necessary components to growth, for fats, proteins and carbohydrates metabolism. They promote health in general, moreover natural aromas have eupeptic benefits that means they favor normal digestive function. That’s why saffron has excellent digestive properties and it is an activator of metabolism.