Penne Primavera Con Zafferano

Ingredients

350 gr of pasta (penne or tagliolini) 6 leeks
Six zucchini squashes
Two table-sp of mascarpone
1 gr. of saffron
Two table-sp of hot milk
Three 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’s medieval economy. As an expensive product, it was an essential element for merchants’ success from S. Gimignano. 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 that exclude chemical products in each phase of cultivation, desiccation, and preservation.

The saffron stigmas are packaged entirely to grant the purest quality and 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 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 into vitamin A. Carotenoids in our organism have many functions: they contribute to controlling pathological phenomena that include the action of free radicals; they increment our immunological defenses; they act as generators of vitamin A; they increase the activity of prevention from cancerogenesis. For example, under the same swallowed quantity, the contents of carotenoids in saffron are 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. Thus, they promote health in general. Moreover, natural aromas have eupeptic benefits that mean they favor normal digestive function. That’s why saffron has excellent digestive properties, and it is an activator of metabolism.

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