First off, don't get confused by the name. Mafalda Corta is just the shape of the pasta ... this dish will work equally well with a penne or gemelli - anything with some ridges to catch the sauce. I used the Garofalo brand of pasta, but Barilla or another quality brand will do. Second, this really takes no time at all, so go ahead and make it any night of the week! And third: the saffron really makes a difference, so don't think you can skip it and get the same outcome. Get the threads, not the powder. It's not cheap - a small container will be around $9, but it will last quite a long time (I keep mine in the freezer). You can sometimes find it at a supermarket, but Bulk Barn or a specialty store will carry it.