Saffron Pastina with Cranberries, Pinenuts & Mint

Saffron Pastina with Cranberries, Pinenuts & Mint

I used to make this recipe all the time, especially for picnics or potluck events. It has been a long time, but I made this pasta again recently, and it is still as delicious as ever. Usually I use raisins, but this time I made it with dried cranberries since they were in my pantry. Either way, this is an easy dish to make in advance and serve cold. I love the mingled spices, crunchiness, and little tangy nuggets in this pasta dish. When I lived in the USA I always made this using "orzo" pasta, which is a fine pasta shaped like grains of barley, but this was unavailable at our local market, so I substituted another tiny pasta. I'm a very flexible cook and generally willing to skip or substitute ingredients so that I don't have to run all over town searching for ingredients. Not all recipes are adaptable, but a good many are, and sometimes they improve with a little imagination, this is what makes cooking fun.

Large nesting textured bowl. Set of 3 available at


1 package of orzo or other small pasta

1/4 teaspoon saffron

1/2 cup olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon turmeric

2 tablespoons honey (a liquid honey mixes better than a solid)

1 handful of mint leaves, washed and chopped

1 handful of parsley leaves, washed and chopped

1 handful of coriander leaves, washed and chopped

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

3/4 cup plumped raisins or dried cranberries

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta as directed in salted water and then drain and rinse with cold water. I usually cook my pasta a little less than the package directions, especially for a dish that will not be eaten immediately.

In a bowl, combine the saffron, olive oil and lemon juice. After a few minutes the saffron should start to release some yellow coloring. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric and honey and mix well.

Toast the pine nuts gently in a pan over low heat.

To plump the raisins or dried cranberries, pour hot water over them and let sit for 10 minutes, then drain them.

Chop the mint, parsley and coriander together into a medium fine dice.

Add the olive oil mixture to your pasta and mix well. Then add the pine nuts, cranberries and diced leaves and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve cold.

Large nesting textured bowl. Set of 3 available at

#lifestyleceramics #beautytexturewhimsy #simplepleasures #maiamingdesigns




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