Sweet Orange and Star Aniseed Stock with Strawberries and Starry Pasta

primule

I hate to admit it but for once I am looking forward to the promised rain because with it the Scirocco will arrive and that means sweeter air, gone are the frost and the ice on the car and hopefully we can start peeling off layers of clothes. This long winter has made me long for all the nice things that are to come so when I saw strawberries, I bought them. I did pretend it was for my youngest daughter who has been ill for such long time and who had expressed a wish for strawberries but in the deep, dark nooks of my heart I knew it was for me. Not at all a self-sacrificing mother but a greedy Smeagol/Gollum, striving for the Ring/Berry…  Anyway, on my last trip to Milan, I managed to get my hands on the February issue of the French edition of Saveur and I was so intrigued by a dessert made with a sweet stock that I had to try to make something like that myself. And with “My Treasure” echoing in my mind and feeling the recall of the red berries, I swept some of them away and made this little dish. I think it is very good on a hot summer’s day when you need something refreshing, the concept of using a sweet stock is great, you can vary it a lot and you get a light, nice dessert with almost any fruits and berries! I added some pastina that I cooked in the stock to add to the texture but you can use tapioka pearls, bulgur or couscous or maybe something else instead.

Sweet Orange and Star Aniseed Stock with Strawberries and Starry Pasta

SWEET ORANGE AND STAR ANISEED STOCK WITH STRAWBERRIES AND STARRY PASTA
3-4 servings

stock:
1000 ml/ 4,2 cups water
100 g/ 3,5 oz sugar
the peel of 1 orange
2 star aniseed

15-20 fresh and sweet strawberries
4-5 tblsp pastina, tapioka pearls or whatever you want to use

 Simmer the ingredients for the stock for one hour under a half-closed lid.

 Take out the peel and the star aniseed and add the pastina. Cook until the pastina is al dente.

 Slice the strawberries thinly, put them into bowls and pour the hot stock over. Serve tepid or cold.

Sweet Orange and Star Aniseed Stock with Strawberries and Starry Pasta

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