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Saffron Pasta With Ricotta Conjures Sardinian Fields

This image released by Milk Street shows a recipe for Saffron Pasta. (Milk Street via AP)
This image released by Milk Street shows a recipe for Saffron Pasta. (Milk Street via AP)

(AP) -- Each November in Sardinia, purple crocus blossoms blanket the rolling fields. It’s a striking sight against a lush green backdrop. Those same flowers also provide what locals call “red gold,” or saffron.

Saffron is one of the defining flavors of the Italian island. First cultivated by the Phoenicians, saffron now colors and perfumes numerous dishes, from little gnocchi called malloreddus to gelato and zeppole, a fried dough eaten at Carnival.