Saffron Sauce Pasta With Figs

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Whip up this easy Saffron Sauce Pasta topped with Figs in less than 15 mins.


A pot of easy saffron sauce pasta with figs

Saffron Sauce

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.

A bowl of saffron sauce pasta with figs with a fork

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).

Three bowls of saffron sauce pasta with figs with some oil

Saffron Substitutes

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.


A bowl of easy saffron sauce pasta with figs on a table

Pasta Recipes

For more pasta recipes why not try this Creamy Pasta Recipe.

Pasta Sauce Recipes

For more pasta sauce recipes why not try this Gnocchi Sauce?

How to Make Saffron Sauce Pasta with Figs

All the ingredients

Ingredients for saffron sauce pasta with figs. pasta, figs, saffron, oil, spices, butter and salt

Melt butter in with the oil

Melt butter and oil for saffron sauce pasta with figs.

Add onions and saffron and fry onions and saffron in oil and butter in a pot

Add spices

Making a saffron sauce pasta with spices

Fry till fragrant

 Easy saffron sauce with figs

Add the figs to the saffron sauce

 saffron sauce pasta with figs in it

Mix in pasta and serveWhip up this easy saffron sauce pasta with figs in less than 15 min. #saffronsauce #creamysaffronsauce #saffronsaucepasta #butterpastasauce

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.

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.


Don't forget to tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter if you try Spiced Saffron Butter Pasta! It is really, really awesome for me when you make one of my recipes and I'd love to see it. You can also share it on my Facebook page. Please pin this recipe to Pinterest too! Thank you for reading Recipes from a Pantry.

A pot of easy saffron sauce pasta with figs
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Spiced Saffron Butter Pasta

Saffron sauce pasta with figs
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time17 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 5
Calories: 647kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy


  • 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
  • Salt
  • 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).
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Adapted from an Ottolenghi Recipe
Pasta Recipes
For more pasta recipes why not try this Creamy Pasta Recipe.
Pasta Sauce Recipes
For more pasta sauce recipes why not try this Gnocchi Sauce?


Calories: 647kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 840IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1.8mg




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5 from 4 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    You have tempted me to buy saffron with this rechpe.
    I love spice and figs, so must try.
    Thank you.

  2. I love saffron and figs – have never put them together before so I look forward to trying this

  3. 5 stars
    The gorgeous and subtle flavour of saffron with figs sounds wonderful. Such a simple, yet luxurious meal, perfect for a quick and tasty supper any day of the week.

  4. I love cooking with saffron. It’s such an underused spice because people are so afraid of the cost but I find it to be so worthwhile and a great food investment.

  5. Saffron and fig must make for such a unique flavor combination! I am completely intrigued and can’t wait to try this!!!