Cosy Friday and a luxury pasta recipe

In the UK Friday nights are usually associated with heavy drinking, letting your hair down and celebrating the start of the weekend.

But in Sweden – where the cost of drinking outside the house often feels prohibitively high – Friday nights have a different purpose. They call it Fredagsmys.

The closest translation I can offer in English is “Friday cosiness”. It means settling down on the sofa with your family with some good food, maybe a glass of wine, and relaxing. With the brutal Swedish winter’s long hours of darkness and weeks of snow, it’s no surprise that most people want to go home and “mys” at the end of the working week rather than hitting the town.

Feel like bringing some Swedish-style cosiness into your life with a Fredagsmys tonight?

For reasons unknown, Friday nights in Sweden are also indelibly associated with tacos, making Mexican food the most popular choice for Fredagsmys. But as an alternative, this Luxurious Saffron Pasta recipe (via ICA – one of Sweden’s biggest supermarket chains) is tailor-made for a cosy night in and feels like a special treat despite being super easy to make.

Lyxig Saffranspasta (Luxurious Saffron Pasta)

Serves 4 (allegedly.)

You will need:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fennel (I hate fennel so I omitted this when we made it!)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts (approx 400g)
  • 250g pasta (use more if you actually intend to serve 4 people)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100ml white wine
  • 0.5g saffron
  • 1 tbsp concentrated vegetable stock
  • 250ml single cream
  • finely grated zest of half an orange
  • 150g sugar snap peas (I was certain the picture showed mangetout but went with sugar snap peas as per the instructions – I think either would work)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper

Steps:

  • Finely chop the onion and garlic, slice the fennel and peppers. Drain the artichoke hearts
  • Cook the pasta
  • Fry the onion, garlic, fennel and peppers together in a little oil for a few minutes
  • Add the tomato puree, artichokes, wine, saffron, stock and cream. Cook for about 5 minutes
  • Season with the orange zest, salt and pepper. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1 more minute
  • Mix the sauce with the cooked pasta, sprinkle with sunflower seeds
  • Serve it up and get a DVD on! Happy Fredagsmys!
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