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Playing Milanese Spaghetti


  • Salt
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • A generous handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus some to pass at table
  • 1/4 cup mint, a handful, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls, chopped


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt.

Steep the saffron threads in the chicken stock over medium-low heat.

Cook pasta 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy water just before draining, Pasta will be flexible but hard at center.

Heat EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and render 2-3 minutes; reduce heat a bit and add garlic and orange zest; stir a minute more. Add wine, reserved starchy cooking water and the saffron stock. Add drained pasta to the skillet and let it cook until liquid is mostly absorbed, 6-8 minutes (the pasta should remain al dente). Stir in butter, a handful of cheese, the mint and parsley.