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finished saffron pasta recipe in white serving bowl with saffron threads seen to the side.

Saffron Pasta

  • Author: Gianna Nebbia
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 as a side dish, 2-3 as a main 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Cooking with Saffron
  • Cuisine: italian, spanish
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A simple saffron pasta recipe that allows the saffron's unique, beautiful flavor to stand out. 


  • 1/2 pound of pasta 
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • The zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1/2 of the lemon. 
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 cup of vermouth or white wine
  • 10 Saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt


  1. To start, boil a medium or large pot of salted water for the pasta. (enough salt to make the water taste lightly salty) While that's coming to a boil, make the saffron-infused water by combining 1/2 cup of hot water and a pinch of saffron threads (about 15 threads) in a small bowl. Set it aside until needed. 
  2. When the water boils, add the pasta. As soon as you drop the pasta in the boiling water, you can also start making the saffron sauce.
  3. To a cold 3 quart skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the sliced garlic cloves, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Then turn on the flame to medium heat. (Heating the garlic and oil together from cold gives the garlic more time to infuse the olive oil without burning.)
  4. Transfer the Saffron Pasta to serving bowls and enjoy.

Keywords: Saffron pasta