Saffron Tagliatelle With Spiced Butter

Updated December 16th 2020

Saffron well known to be more expensive than gold, pound per pound gives this dish it unique colour and taste. This saffron tagliatelle Italian pasta dish combines a Persian spice and spiced butter. Combined with some splashes of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil creates saffron tagliatelle unlike more traditional creations.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world with 1- pound (450 grams) costing between 500 and 5,000 U.S. dollars. The reason for its hefty price is its labour-intensive harvesting method, making the production costly.

Saffron is harvested by hand from the Crocus sativus flower, commonly known as the “saffron crocus.” The term “saffron” applies to the flower’s thread-like structures, or stigma.

Although originating in Greece where it was revered for its medicinal properties. People would also eat saffron to enhance libido, boost mood, and improve memory. It is now widely available and popular in Moroccan cuisine. Boasting a wide range of health benefits, it is the perfect spice to match with Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil.

Saffron contains an impressive variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants, molecules that protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress. Notably saffron antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments and responsible for saffron’s red color. Both compounds may have antidepressant properties, protect brain cells against progressive damage, improve inflammation, reduce appetite, and aid weight loss

Safranal gives saffron its distinct taste and aroma. Research shows that it may help improve your mood, memory, and learning ability, as well as protect your brain cells against oxidative stress. Lastly, kaempferol is found in saffron flower petals. This compound has been linked to health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, anticancer properties, and antidepressant activity. Saffron is nicknamed the “sunshine spice.”

Saffron Sunshine Spice
Saffron Sunshine Spice
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  • 2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 15-1/2 ounces (3-1/2 cups) "00" pasta flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Spiced Butter

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger, sweet paprika, ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper


  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley


  1. Place the saffron in a small bowl with the boiling water and leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Then add the eggs and oil and beat to mix. lace the flour and turmeric in the bowl of a food processor and add the saffron mix. Blend until a crumbly dough is formed. You may need a little more oil or flour to adjust the dough to the required consistency - neither sticky nor very dry.
  2. Lightly dust your surface with flour, tip out the dough and knead into a ball. Work for a few minutes, adding more flour if you need, until it becomes silky soft. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes, or up to a day.
  3. Divide the dough into two pieces. Keep one well covered. Using a rolling pin, flatten the other piece into a thin rectangle. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting and pass the dough through. Continue rolling the pasta, narrowing the setting by a notch every time, until you get to the lowest setting.
  4. Fold up the pasta sheet twice along its length, sprinkling some flour between the layers. Use a large knife to cut long strips that are 3/4 inch wide. Hang them on the back of a chair to dry for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. To make the spiced butter: Place the butter and oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots gently for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and the butter turns slightly brown. Now add all the spices, the salt and some pepper. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Cook the tagliatelle for 2 to 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan. Pour the spiced butter over the pasta and stir well, then divide among four plates.
  7. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and chopped herbs and serve

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