Not an easy recipe but worth the effort!

Michael Rossi and his wife, Dolly

"However, the ultimate result is always satisfying, because Saffron and Dungeness Crab both have tremendous personality.  I find this dish irresistible!!

These are not ingredients that we have stored in our ice boxes all the time, but for that special occasion……..they are worth going down to the Marketplace for!

Please enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay that shows off the highlights of the toasted barrel with hints of creamy fruits, spiced  aromas and fresh acidity!"

Bon Appetito!!!"
Chef Michael Rossi

"It's no wonder that saffron -- the yellow-orange stigmas from a small purple crocus (Crocus sativus) -- is the world's most expensive spice. Each flower provides only three stigmas, which must be carefully hand-picked and then dried--an extremely labor-intensive process. It takes over 14,000 of these tiny stigmas for each ounce of saffron.

Thousands of years ago saffron was used not only to flavor food and beverages but to make medicines and to dye cloth and body oils a deep yellow. Today this pungent, aromatic spice is primarily used to flavor and tint food. Fortunately (because it's so pricey), a little saffron goes a long way. It's integral to hundreds of dishes like bouillabaisse, risotto Milanese and paella, and flavors many European baked goods.

Saffron is marketed in both powdered form and in threads (the whole stigmas). Powdered saffron loses its flavor more readily and can be easily adulterated with imitations. The threads should be crushed just before using. Store saffron airtight in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months."

--Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst
Source: Food Network

Handmade Saffron Tagliorini (Angel  Hair pasta) with Dungeness Crab Essence

From Chef Michael Rossi

A very special meal



5 each - Egg yolks

2 ½ cups - All purpose flour

pinch - Saffron, dissolved in 1 tbsp. of ice water



1 tbsp. - Butter

1 tbsp. - Shallot, chopped

2 lbs. - Fresh Dungeness Crab meat, reserving half to fold into pasta

½ cup - White wine

2 cups - Heavy Cream

To Taste - Salt and Pepper



Place the flour on a wooden board, and make a well in the center. 

Pour the eggs into the well and add the saffron that has bloomed in the ice water.

Using a fork, mix the liquids well.  Slowly begin to draw in the dry ingredients with your fingers.

Knead the dough until it is elastic (about 5-8 minutes).

Cover it with a damp cloth or plastic and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Cut the dough into small pieces, depending upon your pasta machine, and flatten them with your hand or a rolling pin.

Lightly dust the dough with flour and roll it through the machine, starting with the highest setting and gradually decreasing the thickness until the pasta is thin and ready to be cut into “angel hair”.

You can do this by hand or you can use the attachment you have for your machine. 

Lightly dust the pasta with flour after it has been cut, keeping it from sticking together.


Heat the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until lightly browned and sauté the shallots until translucent.

Add the Dungeness Crab meat and lightly sauté for 1 minute.

Add the white wine and allow to reduce by three quarters (¾).

Finally add the cream and allow to reduce by one half (½).  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place in blender or use a hand mixer, puree until smooth.

To Serve

Bring a medium sauce pot filled with salted water to a boil.

Cook the fresh Saffron pasta for 2-3 minutes and place in sauté pan with Dungeness Crab sauce.

Toss in the remaining crab meat and serve.

Serves 6-8

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Interesting Facts!

Dungeness Crabs

"The Dungeness Crab or Cancer magister gets its common name from the town of Dungeness, Washington, now called Old Town Dungeness, where the first commercial harvesting of the crab was done.

The Dungeness Crab is the only commercially important crab in the state of Washington's territorial waters and was the first shellfish harvested commercially on the North Pacific Coast. . . 

They can be found from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska to south of San Francisco."
The Dungeness Crab


"With over 600 types of pasta and 2000 different names for them it would be impossible to list all that are available to the consumer today.

All pastas are shaped in the way they are for specific reasons and specific types of dishes. Many of them are made hollow like penne and tortiglioni basically in order to hold more sauce!

Then there are the shell shaped ones such as conchiglie rigate or twisted ones like fusilli, again an aid to sauce retention."
The Reptoire