Saffron Spaghetti with Dandelion Greens

Adapted by
November 2013
Yield: 25 servings


4 cups diced yellow onion
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced carrot
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Dandelion Greens Sauce
1 tablespoon minced Calabrian chile
10 anchovy fillets
6 tablespoons minced garlic
3 large shallots, minced
Parmesan broth
1 pound Tuscan kale
3 pounds dandelion greens
1 pound broccoli greens
8 ounces mint leaves
8 ounces parsley leaves
4 ounces oregano leaves
Saffron Spaghetti
2 ounces warm water
5 grams saffron
3 eggs, beaten
25 egg yolks
750 grams 00 flour
250 gram semolina flour
Beurre Blanc
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup white wine
1 pound butter, cubed
To Assemble and Serve
preserved lemon, minced
Smoked trout roe
fleur de sel


For the Soffrito:
In a large pot over low heat, sweat the onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil. Stir frequently to make sure the vegetables do not caramelize. Cook 2 hours, until the soffrito looks “broken,” or until the vegetables are suspended in oil. Remove from heat, cool, and store in the oil.

For the Dandelion Greens Sauce:
Warm the Soffritto in a shallow, heavy-bottom saucepan or stock pot. Add the chile, anchovy, garlic, and shallota. Sweat 3 minutes, but do not brown (add Parmesan broth if necessary). Add the Tuscan kale and dandelion greens, and cook over medium heat, adding Parmesan broth, as needed. As the greens start to wilt, add broccoli greens and continue to cook. When the greens break down, add the mint, parsley, and oregano, and cook until the mixture is tender and homogenous in appearance, about 1 hour. Season with salt and white pepper.

For the Saffron Spaghetti:
Bring the water to a simmer, remove from heat, and add saffron to steep. Cool to room temperature and strain into eggs and yolks. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and semolina. Make a well and fill it with the eggs. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs. When the dough starts to come together, turn out onto a work surface and knead by hand until it is uniform in texture and the dough is elastic. Cover and rest 20 minutes. Roll the pasta through a pasta machine, fold it onto itself and keep rolling. Do this 4 times, then roll to the desired thickness and cut into spaghetti.

For the Beurre Blanc:
Place the shallot and wine in a small pot. Reduce to 1 tablespoon and whisk in the butter, piece by piece. Whisk constantly over medium heat until emulsified. Store, covered, in a warm spot.

To Assemble and Serve:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 50 grams of pasta and drain once it’s relaxed but still has some tooth; it could take as little as 30 seconds. Add the pasta to a sauté pan with 1 ounce butter, and 2 ounces Dandelion Greens Sauce. Toss, season, and roll onto a pasta fork. Lay pasta down the middle of a plate. Finish the plate with Beurre Blanc. Garnish with 1 teaspoon minced lemon confit and ½ tablespoon smoked trout roe. Season with fleur de sel.