We are continually resisting being seduced by new pasta cookbooks, without any consistent success. The ones full of glossy color photos are the hardest on our resolve. And when a sales guy walks into the ms_ani workplace with a sample copy to generate interest at only $2.99 per copy, complete with the glossy color photos, it was an offer that could not be refused. ms_ani took the lead and others followed suit.
Of course usually these cookbooks just end up on the shelf. Unused. But we had some fresh zucchini in the fridge and not much else. And needed a zucchini idea to make it through dinner, without going to the supermarket, which we love to do of course, but not when it's too late. So since this cookbook was a fresh acquisition, we checked it out and came up with a winner. Zucchini with a creamy saffron sauce. Alas! No cream in the house, laments dr bob. We can't do it. No problem, says ms_ani. We'll just use milk. Milk? No, we can't do it. Milk with cornstarch. Hmm. Maybe. After all, what alternative was there? Besides, this substitution makes it much healthier! Still skeptical, the dr left it to the ms. And it was a success! Even better as leftovers for lunch the next day. The well known (to some) aging effect of pasta.
Of course your kitchen may have the cream but not the saffron. dr bob is a big importer of cheap Italian saffron for Iranian friends who are heavy users. 125 mg packets at roughly 50 cents a shot compared to an outrageous $3.50 circa for a probably comparable amount in those big glass jars you see in american supermarkets. So we keep a few packets ourselves just in case. Italians use saffron for risotto alla milanese, which is probably the most famous risotto dish that we've never made. Just yellow rice seems a bit boring to us, so we rarely have occasion to dip into our saffron supply.