Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Saffron Pasta with Tuna, Crescenza Cheese and Oregano

Pasta allo Zafferano con Tonno, Crescenza e Origano, a simple pasta dish that can be prepared in a moment.

We have used tuna fillets in oil, a pinch of saffron powder and Crescenza, also known as Stracchino, a fresh, creamy, no rind Italian cheese typical from Lombardy but also from Piedmont and Veneto.

The name ‘Crescenza’ comes from the Lombard dialect word ‘stracca’, which means ‘tired’ and that’s because they said that the cheese made from the milk of tired cows moving seasonally up and down the Alps is rich in fats and more acidic in nature. with a slightly sour aftertaste, all sprinkled with a generous handful of dried oregano. We recommend to use short pasta.


Serves 2, Preparation 10 mins, Cooking 12-15 mins

  • Penne Pasta or any other short pasta you prefer, 180 g
  • A pinch of saffron powder: 0.15 g (the tip of a teaspoon)
  • Italian Crescenza Cheese, 80 g
  • Tuna fillets in olive oil, 80 g
  • Dried Oregano, a tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tsbp

Method

Dilute the saffron powder in a small cup of lukewarm water for about 15-20 minutes, set aside.

Drain and chop the tuna.

Bring unsalted water to the boil, add salt as soon as it boils together with pasta.

Heat a tablespoon of EVOO in a non-stick frying pan. Melt Crescenza cheese by adding a drop of cooking water if needed to melt better, add the diluted saffron, a pinch of salt, stir. Turn off the heat.

Cook pasta, then drain it al dente.

Turn the heat back on to low under the pan, pour in the pasta, add the chopped tuna and a generous handful of dried oregano, mix everything together and serve.

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