Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Saffron Tomato Sauce with Capers

Saffron...it's the world's most expensive spice.


It adds such a unique flavor to dishes, and a little goes a long way. We actually pretty much always have it in the spice cabinet so that Norm can whip up his famous paella (actually its his dad's recipe, but he's pretty much mastered it!). So when I found this recipe for Saffron Tomato Sauce with Capers in Fine Cooking, I quickly bookmarked it to try.

I was delicious. More than delicious. I loved it! The first time we had it, had it with some sauteed shrimp. The next time we stepped it up a notch and steamed some mussels and clams in the rich broth. Yummy! We had it over whole wheat pasta...and I didn't use as much oil as the recipe called for. It's easy to fit this into South Beach, Weight Watchers, or other healthy eating plan.

Saffron Tomato Sauce with Capers
(Source: Fine Cooking)

3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 c)
2 large cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced crosswise
30 threads of saffron
Pinch crushed red pepper
28-oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and small diced (about 2 C)
2 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped
1 small sprig fresh thyme
Pinch sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Crumble saffron into the pan and stir in the crushed pepper. Let cook for about 20 seconds and then add the tomatoes, capers, thyme, sugar, 1/2 t salt and several grinds of black pepper. Simmer briskly, adjusting the heat as necessary until the tomatoes are softened and the flavors melded, about 15 minutes. Discard the thyme sprig and stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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