Linguine with Shrimp in Saffron Cream Sauce

1 package (8 oz) fresh linguine, cooked according to package directions, reserving 3/4 cup hot liquid after pasta is cooked

4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 generous pinches saffron threads, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 3/4 cup hot pasta liquid and stir in a generous pinch of saffron threads.  Set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oilt to medium skillet and heat medium high.  Drop in a generous pinch of saffron and cook for a minute.  Add shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper and cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp has just turned pink.  Toss with 1 large clove minced garlic.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In another saucepan (sorry, this dirties 3 dishes, but its well worth it!) heat butter and cream cheese, whisking until smooth.  Add the saffron infused pasta liquid along with 1/2 cup heavy cream and whisk to combine.  Simmer on low 2-3 minutes.  Transfer sauce to frying pan the shrimp is in and return to heat.  Bring back to a simmer and scrape all the yummy deliciousness from the bottom of the frying pan - and stir until blended.  Toss with linguine, serve with chopped chives as a garnish.