Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > When Pasta Meets Risotto | Penne allo Zafferano Recipe
All Recipes, Main Dishes / February 25, 2022

When Pasta Meets Risotto | Penne allo Zafferano Recipe

We have made a ton of pasta dishes here on Spain on a Fork, however, this Penne allo Zafferano Recipe might just be the best one yet. It´s packed with flavors, super easy to make and comes together in just 30 minutes.

Penne allo Zafferano Recipe
What makes this pasta dish really stand out, is the way the pasta is cooked, which is exactly how you would cook risotto. Slowly adding in hot broth into the pan with the pasta and mixing until absorbed. This helps release the starch in the pasta, giving it the most incredible texture & flavor.

Penne allo Zafferano Recipe
What really flavors this pasta dish is the saffron and the broth. I used homemade vegetable broth, but you can also use chicken broth or even beef broth. I also topped the pasta off with some grated Manchego cheese, just to add a Spanish flare. If you want to keep it more authentic, use parmesan cheese.

Penne allo Zafferano Recipe

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: It took me exactly 11 minutes to cook the pasta al dente, using the risotto technique. Which once again, is adding the broth slowly while you mix the pasta. If your pasta is still not fully cooked once all the broth has been added, just place a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

Penne allo Zafferano Recipe

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make Penne allo Zafferano

Penne allo Zafferano Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Penne allo Zafferano | When Pasta Meets Risotto

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 830 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 3 cups vegetable broth 710 ml
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads .17 grams
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 45 ml
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/4 cups uncooked penne pasta 225 grams / 8 ounces
  • 1/2 cup grated manchego cheese 60 grams
  • handful finely chopped parsley
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper


  1. Add 3 cups vegetable broth into a sauce pan, pinch in 1/4 tsp saffron threads and heat with a medium-high heat

  2. At the same time, heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  3. Meanwhile, thinly slice 1 onion and cut 4 cloves of garlic into large chunks

  4. After heating the olive oil for 4 minutes, add in the sliced onion and chunks of garlic, mix continuously, once in the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes, add in 2 1/4 cups of uncooked penne pasta, season with sea salt & black pepper, continute to mix continuously

  5. After lightly frying the pasta for 2 minutes, add in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the hot saffron infused broth into the pan, mix continuously, once the broth has been absorbed, add in another 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the broth and mix, continue to do this until all the broth has been added

  6. Once all the broth has been added and absorbed, about 11 minutes, the pasta should be perfectly cooked al dente, remove the pan from the heat (if your pasta is not yet fully cooked, place a lid on the pan and turn off the heat, let it sit for a couple of minutes)

  7. Finely grate in 1/2 cup of Manchego cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, serve at once, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Saffron Threads I used to make this recipe

Nutrition Facts
Penne allo Zafferano | When Pasta Meets Risotto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 830 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 16g
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 183mg8%
Potassium 387mg11%
Carbohydrates 106g35%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 157IU3%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 353mg35%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Jennifer

    5 stars
    Very good! In the U.S. I get a jar of very good Spanish saffron at Costco for $88 a jar, expensive but worth it. If you love risotto Milanese (somewhat similar) you will love this dish!

    29 . Apr . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      30 . Apr . 2022
  2. Ramya

    Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use vegan cheese i never had penne allo zafferano before i love pasta sooooooooooo much perfect for my after office meals

    25 . Feb . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Sounds great Ramya! Much love 🙂

      25 . Feb . 2022

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