So folks, THIS right here is what happens when you take some butter, throw in some saffron, cinnamon and spices, simmer to perfection and then mix in some pasta. You get pasta covered in the best saffron sauce in town.
Oh and the figs.
Yes, this entire meal is all completed with some sweet figs simmered in the saffron sauce too.
You end up with this perfection in every mouthful, lick your bowl clean, spiced saffron butter pasta sauce. The kind of spiced butter pasta sauce that tastes all the better for the fact that it takes a maximum of 15 mins to cook. Yeap, the weeknight suppers totally covered kind of pasta.
And Christmas suppers and brunches and quick me time eats too.
I have had a love affair with saffron for the longest time. I still remember the stopover in Doha airport where, in my sleepy but bargain hunter mode at 1 am, I emptied my entire wallet on 12 tubs of saffron. I still have one of those tubs left, and even though it is past it sell by date I still use it when cooking for just me. Guests, if you are reading this, obviously when I cook for you, you get some newer saffron. Fingers not crossed behind my back, honest :).
I have used a combination of spice flavours that I like in this version. Do try playing around with spices to your taste. And I can easily see this working as a spiced brown butter pasta sauce too (oh that is sooooooo going on my to do list).
A word about saffron substitutes. It is impossible to substitute the distinctive taste of saffron in dishes. Seriously impossible. What you can do is substitute the form of saffron. This recipe calls for saffron strands. If you don’t have strands then you can use saffron powder. Just make sure the saffron powder is a really pure and good quality one, instead of a powder that has paprika or turmeric etc, added in. And when cooking with saffron powder you just add it straight into the dish, no pre-soaking required.
If using saffron mostly for colour than you could substitute it for things like turmeric and paprika. Just make sure to add small amounts of those spices at a time, as they have their own distinctive taste too.
Christmas and the Art of Preparation
Can I talk to you a little bit about Robert Welch Art of Christmas campaign that I am collaborating with them on, specifically the Art of Preparation? As I go through more and more Christmases I realise that it is the planning and preparation that is most important. Why? Two reasons:
- You can make an awesome Christmas without going too complex. Everyone will still love what you make and what you do – simple decorations and foods– as long as they are good. Simple works every single time.
- Preparation needs the right tools. If you’ve got a good knife and good cooking tools, life is miles easier. Miles and miles easier.
So, when thinking simplicity, try this fig and saffron sauce pasta. It gives you a simple festive dish, which is delicious and obviously for a special occasion, without actually needing too much sweat on your part. You get the joy of a saffron butter pasta sauce, with only a few minutes effort.
And when thinking the right kit, I’ve been lucky enough to own and use my award winning Robert Welch Signature Knives for the last 2 years. These British made knives are stunning. They are made with German stainless steel and completed with a Japanese style edge for superior sharpness. Plus the Robert Welch hand-held sharpener has seen great use too – keeping my knives razor sharp.
These knives hold a very good edge and I can get them wickedly sharp. And the handles are extremely ergonomic. The handles fit in my hand and don’t get slippery, even when my hands are covered in oil or water. They sent me the Signature starter set 2-piece (totally makes an awesome Christmas pressie). The 16 cm cooks knives is favourite kitchen tools and I use it so much so that I have just had to get another one.
And the other kit – a very useful black mortar and pestle large, vital for preparing spices (in fact last time I used it was to crush coriander to make biltong with, last week). Also I was sent Robert Welch’s Signature Black Utensil Stand Set which I have been putting through the paces. These consist of a ladle, spaghetti server, slotted server/turner, a nicely deep bowl serving spoon and deep bowl slotted serving spoon. Again, very well made, tough, stylish and ergonomic. Just the sort of accessories I will happily bring to the table to serve guests with.
So, good easy to prepare food, the right kitchen tool and stylish serving accessories all help to make Christmas food fun.
I hope you Christmas will be as easy and festive as can be.
So, here is how to make this saffron sauce pasta with figs. Please do try it and if you do make it, then please do tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or twitter so that I can pop over and have a look. It is really, really awesome for me when you make any one of my recipes.
Thank you for reading my saffron sauce recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you.
For more pasta recipes why not try this creamy pasta recipe.
This post is sponsored.
How to make saffron sauce pasta with figs
All the ingredients
Melt butter in with the oil
Fry till fragrant
Add the figs to the saffron sauce
Spiced Saffron Butter Pasta
- 450 g pasta
- 100 g salted butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion very finely chopped
- ½ tsp Saffron threads
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- A handful of chopped coriander
- 8 large figs halved
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain when done and set aside in a warm place.
- Whilst the pasta in cooking, make the saffron sauce.
- Add the butter and olive oil to a pot over medium heat, and let the butter melt.
- Add in the onion and saffron and sauté for about 10 mins till the onion is soft.
- Mix in the rest of the spices and season to taste and cook for 1 min.
- Then add in the figs and let simmer for 1 min and switch off the heat.
- Serve the sauce over the warm pasta.
- Optional garnish chopped fresh coriander (cilantro).
Adapted from an Ottolenghi Recipe
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