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Saffron Spaghetti with Octopus

Posted by Abby Kellie on

Saffron Spaghetti with Octopus

Serves 2

*My first attempt at infusing dried pasta with saffron flavor was half-assed and worked 'ok' not great. I put some threads in the boiling water and cooked the pasta in it. The problem is pasta cooks quickly, too quickly to infuse enough flavor into it. But if you par-boil the pasta, just enough to make it pliable and cook it in a large pan 'risotto style' adding saffron-infused broth is slow additions, it cooks slower and has the time to soak all that flavor in. And you're still done in about 30 minutes.


  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads
  • 3 Tbls butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 12 oz spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 - 4-4.8oz tin Octopus (like Matiz Gallego or La Brujula)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more to finish
  • 3 Tbls chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a medium saucepan warm stock with saffron to infuse.
  2. In a large saucepan heat the butter with the shallot over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, until the shallot has softened. Meanwhile cook spaghetti in boiling salted water for about a minute, just long enough so it becomes pliable but is still underdone. Drain and place in the pan with the butter and shallot. Toss to coat noodles with fat as much as possible.
  3.  Add wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Begin ladling a spoonful or two of stock, stirring into pasta and letting it cook until it’s completely absorbed. Repeat the process until all broth is absorbed (this should take about 15 minutes depending on your spaghetti, cooking times vary from brand to brand.
  4. Add the octopus and toss with noodles until warmed through. Add pepper and Parmigiano and toss to coat. Finish with additional cheese and fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

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