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5 from 34 votes
Italian prawn saffron linguine
Creamy Italian Prawn Saffron Linguine
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins

This rich, creamy and luxurious prawn saffron linguine pasta recipe is perfect for entertaining and special occasions. Pasta, saffron and seafood are a classic Italian combination which your guests will be so impressed with!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Central Italy, Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, Italian recipe, linguine, prawns, saffron, seafood, seafood pasta
Servings: 4
  • 400 g linguine (14oz) I used linguine from De Cecco
  • 1 kg Fresh unpeeled prawns (about 2 lbs) or defrosted frozen unpeeled prawns
  • 2-3 spring onions or shallots
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads or powder
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 30 g butter (1oz)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
  • 200 ml heavy cream (6-7floz)
  • 1 glass water
  • salt for pasta and to taste

  1. Put the saffron threads into a glass with a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Leave to infuse and melt. Peel and slice the onions. Wash and chop the parsley.

  2. Remove the heads and tails from most of the prawns ( you can leave one per person intact for appearance), peel the prawns keeping just the meat.  Remove the black vein along the back of the peeled prawns.

  3. Put the heads and shells in a saucepan with a glass of water and a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil and leave to simmer for a quarter of an hour. Remove the heads and shells, strain the broth into a bowl and add the soaking saffron to it.

  4. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again.

Cook the sauce
  1. Fry the onions in a frying pan or skillet over a low heat with the butter and some pink pepper corns. Once the onions start to soften  add the saffron broth. Let it boil over a high heat for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat down and add the whole prawns first and cook for a couple of minutes on both sides. Then add the peeled prawns and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

  2. Before adding the cream to the sauce remove the whole unpeeled prawns but keep them warm. Add the heavy cream and mix it into the sauce. Add salt to taste.

Finish the dish

  1. Cook the linguine al dente according to the instructions on the packet. When the pasta is cooked, save a little of the cooking water and drain. Add the pasta to the sauce. Mix everything together well . If it seems dry add a little pasta cooking water. Remove from the heat and serve immediately sprinkled with chopped parsley and with one whole prawn on each plate .

Recipe Notes

I used linguine for this recipe but you could also use spaghetti or tagliatelle.