Fideos With Clams and Saffron
1 pound fideos or capellini pasta
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1 cup small broccoli florets
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1/2 cup white wine or seafood stock
1 pound fresh medium clams, cleaned
freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Break the fideos into 3-inch pieces. Arrange the pieces in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, saffron and salt to taste and place over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, whisking and watching the pot so the cream doesn't boil over. Remove from the heat, stir in the cauliflower and broccoli, and set aside.
Preheat the broiler. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and garlic over low heat, stirring, until the garlic begins to soften and turn golden, about 15 minutes. Break the garlic up with the back of a wooden spoon, then add the wine, clams and fideos. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cover the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes, shaking the pan, until the clams have opened. Discard any unopened clams. Stir in the cauliflower-and-cream mixture and remove from the heat.
Divide the clam-and-pasta mixture among 4 ovenproof dishes. Place the dishes in the oven and broil until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Note from the tester: Consider parboiling the broccoli and cauliflower in advance. Make sure to use an especially large saucepan for the final stove-top cooking. Otherwise, as I did, you may have to cook some of the pasta separately, folding it in at the end.
From "Top Chef, the Cookbook"
Per serving: 1,059 calories, 25 grams protein, 65 grams fat, 30 grams saturated fat, 94 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 175 milligrams cholesterol, 124 milligrams sodium