Penne Gialle (also called Penne allo Zafferano) is an Italian pasta dish seasoned with broth and saffron. The cooking method is what first struck me by surprise. Instead of boiling the pasta, heated broth is added a little at a time as if making risotto. This method is called Pasta Risottata in Italian. The texture was creamy with just the right amount of bite.
Penne Lisce is a variation of Penne pasta without the ridges.
If you are using unsalted beef broth, you may need to add a bit of salt to taste.
I used saffron threads and soaked them in the last 1/2 cup of broth before adding it to the pasta. You can also use saffron powder, just make sure it is pure saffron.
Penne Gialle (Penne with Saffron)
Adapted from The Silver Spoon
3 1/2- 4 cups meat (beef) broth
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 pound penne lisce
1 large pinch saffron
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a medium pot, bring meat broth to a boil.
In a large pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Toss in the penne until thoroughly covered in the butter and oil. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the boiling broth and constantly stir until fully absorbed. Continue adding broth and stirring until the penne is al dente. Add saffron to the last 1/2 cup of broth and let it sit while you are stirring in the previous 1/2 cup of broth. Mix in the saffron infused last 1/2 cup until fully absorbed. Remove from heat.
Divide among serving bowls and top with Parmesan and additional butter if desired. Serve immediately.