Penne Gialle (Penne with Saffron)

A recipe for Penne Gialle (Penne with Saffron or Penne allo Zafferano). Dried Penne Lisce is cooked risotto-style with beef broth and saffron to create a flavorful pasta dish in about 30 minutes.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword beef broth, pasta, penne, penne gialle, saffron
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • 3 1/2- 4 cups meat (beef) broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 pound dried penne lisce
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste


  • In a medium pot, bring meat broth to a boil.
  • In a large pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Toss in the penne until thoroughly covered in the butter and oil. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the boiling broth and constantly stir until fully absorbed. Continue adding broth and stirring until the penne is al dente. Add saffron to the last 1/2 cup of broth and let it sit while you are stirring in the previous 1/2 cup of broth. Mix in the saffron infused last 1/2 cup until fully absorbed. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt if needed.
  • Divide among serving bowls. Top with Parmesan and additional butter if desired. Serve immediately.