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Fettucine with Saffron and Asparagus

Saffron is used a lot in the province of L'Aquila. The Navelli Plain produces Italy's finest saffron product.

Serves 4 to 6


2 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 pound fresh asparagus cut into thirds

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch saffron powder or threads

1 pound fettucine or spaghetti alla chitarra

Grated pecorino cheese for sprinkling on top


 Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion; cook until it begins to soften, then add the asparagus pieces, salt and pepper and cook until the asparagus is tender. Set 3/4 cup of the asparagus mixture aside and puree the rest. Transfer to a small pot and keep covered over low heat.

Cook the spaghetti until al dente; drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.  Dissolve the saffron in the reserved water then mix it into the pureed asparagus.

Mix the spaghetti with the asparagus sauce; transfer to a platter and top with the reserved asparagus pieces and sprinkle with pecorino cheese.

This recipe is featured on show 2208 – Cooking Abruzzi Style.


  1. Ann's avatar


    I am curious to know the name of the store and city where this show #2208,was filmed? The episode showed cheese, meat, etc. Thank you...Ann
  2. Paul Lally, Executive Produer's avatar

    Paul Lally, Executive Produer

    Hi, Ann,

    We filmed the program at Joe Pace and Son Italian Grocers, in Saugus MA.

    Their website:
  3. Edie's avatar


    I cut the asparagus in thirds and the strings from the vegetable wrapped around my stick blender and left long strings in the puree. Next time I will cut the asparagus in 1 inch cubes.
  4. Tina's avatar


    I just made this for lunch & it was delicious! Super easy & pretty. I used fettucine but next time I'll make homemade Maccheroni alla Chitarra! Yum! It would be great followed by a light seafood dish. Grazie mille per la ricetta!

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