A Mediterranean Diet staple to deliver the many health benefits of best olive oil
Updated July 04th 2023
Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Saffron: A Match Made In Heaven
The Mediterranean diet has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. This diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. One key component of the Mediterranean diet is the consumption of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Studies have shown that olive oil can have numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health.
But did you know that pairing olive oil with saffron can enhance both the flavor and health benefits of these two ingredients? Saffron, a spice derived from the crocus flower, is known for its unique taste and potential health benefits, including improving mood and decreasing symptoms of depression. When combined with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), saffron can help increase the absorption of nutrients and antioxidants, making this duo a powerful addition to any diet.
Saffron well known to be more expensive than gold, pound per pound gives this dish it unique colour and taste. This saffron tagliatelle Italian pasta dish combines a Persian spice and spiced butter. Combined with some splashes of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil creates saffron tagliatelle unlike more traditional creations.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world with 1- pound (450 grams) costing between 500 and 5,000 U.S. dollars. The reason for its hefty price is its labour-intensive harvesting method, making the production costly.
Saffron is harvested by hand from the Crocus sativus flower, commonly known as the “saffron crocus.” The term “saffron” applies to the flower’s thread-like structures, or stigma.
Saffron Tagliatelle in Olive Oil Recipe
- 2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 4 tablespoons boiling water
- 4 medium eggs
- 4 tablespoons Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- 15-1/2 ounces (3-1/2 cups) "00" pasta flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 4 tablespoons Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- 8 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger, sweet paprika, ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
- 4 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
- Place the saffron in a small bowl with the boiling water and leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Then add the eggs and oil and beat to mix. lace the flour and turmeric in the bowl of a food processor and add the saffron mix. Blend until a crumbly dough is formed. You may need a little more oil or flour to adjust the dough to the required consistency - neither sticky nor very dry.
- Lightly dust your surface with flour, tip out the dough and knead into a ball. Work for a few minutes, adding more flour if you need, until it becomes silky soft. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes, or up to a day.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Keep one well covered. Using a rolling pin, flatten the other piece into a thin rectangle. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and pass the dough through. Continue rolling the pasta, narrowing the setting by a notch every time, until you get to the lowest setting.
- Fold up the pasta sheet twice along its length, sprinkling some flour between the layers. Use a large knife to cut long strips that are 3/4 inch wide. Hang them on the back of a chair to dry for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- To make the spiced butter: Place the butter and oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots gently for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and the butter turns slightly brown. Now add all the spices, the salt and some pepper. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Cook the tagliatelle for 2 to 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan. Pour the spiced butter over the pasta and stir well, then divide among four plates.
- Sprinkle with the pine nuts and chopped herbs and serve
More On Saffron
Although originating in Greece where it was revered for its medicinal properties. People would also eat saffron to enhance libido, boost mood, and improve memory. It is now widely available and popular in Moroccan cuisine. Boasting a wide range of health benefits, it is the perfect spice to match with Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil.
Saffron contains an impressive variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants, molecules that protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress. Notably saffron antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments and responsible for saffron’s red color. Both compounds may have antidepressant properties, protect brain cells against progressive damage, improve inflammation, reduce appetite, and aid weight loss
Safranal gives saffron its distinct taste and aroma. Research shows that it may help improve your mood, memory, and learning ability, as well as protect your brain cells against oxidative stress. Lastly, kaempferol is found in saffron flower petals. This compound has been linked to health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, anticancer properties, and antidepressant activity. Saffron is nicknamed the “sunshine spice.”
A Staple Of The Mediterranean Diet For Heart Health
Tagliatelle is a pasta that originates from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It is made from a Egg dough that is rolled out thinly and then cut into long, flat strips. Tagliatelle is traditionally served with a sauce made from beef, veal, pork, or pigeon. However, it can also be enjoyed with a simple tomato sauce or a light cream sauce. For a truly authentic Italian experience, tagliatelle should be cooked al dente and served with a quality extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best olive oil available and it has many benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, extra virgin olive oil can help to lower cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health. When paired with tagliatelle, extra virgin olive oil enhances the flavour of the pasta and creates a dish that is both healthy and delicious.
The Health Benefits Of Pasta
Pasta is the perfect foundation for a healthy, nutritious and satisfying meal. Why? For starters, pasta is the ideal partner for so many other foods, including fibre rich vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish, antioxidant rich tomato sauce and protein packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats.
Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. And because pasta is an awesome source of complex carbohydrates, releasing energy at a slow and sustained level, you don’t get the energy spikes associated with simple sugars.
If you’re watching your cholesterol levels, pasta is perfect for you, being very low in sodium and cholesterol free. Per cup, enriched varieties of pasta provide a good source of several essential nutrients, including iron and B-vitamins.
Enriched pasta is fortified with folic-acid – essential for women of child-bearing age. A serving of dry pasta supplies the equivalent of roughly 100 micrograms of folic acid, or 25% of the recommended daily intake.
Combine pasta with lean protein and vegetables for a complete meal puts you well on the path to hitting those dietary goals!