Saffron and Raisin Whole Wheat Noodles
This is my version of a traditional dish popular in Sicily. Whole wheat noodles have more fiber and a firmer texture than regular pasta. If you don't have any whole wheat noodles on hand, you may use regular broad noodles.
1/4 cup dried currants
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped fennel
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
1 cup vegetable broth powder
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
pinch freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces no-yolk whole wheat broad egg noodles
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
In a small bowl, soak the currants in the water for at least 5 minutes.
In a large no-stick frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the fennel, celery, onions and walnuts; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the stock, saffron, and pepper.
Drain the currants and reserve the soaking liquid; add the currants to the frying pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Add the noodles to the frying pan; toss to combine. Stir in about 1/3 cup of the reserved currant soaking liquid. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs.