Pasta with Zucchini Blossom and Saffron Sauce

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Pasta with Zucchini Blossom & Saffron Sauce

  • Author: patty


We enjoyed this dish at Cafiggi (100 year old restaurant) in Florence, Italy.  They used Scialatielli pasta which is a long, wide pasta. Tagliatelle works well with this recipe.

Prep Time – 20 minutes, Cook Time – 25 minutes, Total Time – 45 minutes

Serves 6 as side dish; 4 servings as entree.


Units Scale
  • 12 oz Tagliatelle pasta
  • 16 zucchini flowers
  • 2 pinches saffron threads, about 1/2 tsp
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 23 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2oz Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Add in options:

  • 4 zucchini chopped into chunks
  • 4 oz Parma ham cut into small bites


  • Place saffron in small dish with 1 tablespoon hot water to infuse liquid
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions.. Before draining it, save a cup of the cooking water.
  • You can make the sauce while you are waiting for the water to boil for the pasta or you can make it first. Peel and chop the onion finely. Wash and chop the parsley
  • Clean the zucchini flowers by removing the pistil or stamen from the centre and washing them carefully. These flowers are delicate. Wash them just before using to retain their freshness. Cut flowers into strips.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or skillet that’s big enough to fit the in pasta later. Add the chopped onion and cook over a low heat until it softens slightly. (If using zucchini and ham, add them at this point. and then add the zucchini and cook until they become golden.)   Add salt and pepper.  
  • Once the zucchini are ready, add the ham and brown it for at least a minute. Then add the saffron water.  Mix well and add the zucchini flowers and stir them into the sauce. Finally add the cream, mix again and cook over a low flame for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the drained pasta to the pan and mix it well with the sauce. If you like you can add a handful of grated cheese to thicken the sauce. Or if the sauce seems dry, add a little of the saved pasta cooking water.
  • Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped parsley and more grated cheese if required.

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