Fig & Walnut Spaghetti

We have moved a couple of blocks. It turned out that living with a lousy kitchen was too hard for us. So now we are spending our last week in San Francisco in the Castro district. With a real kitchen to cook in and a small garden to eat in. It’s perfect! And we immediately started cooking.

We haven’t posted many pasta recipes on this blog. It’s simply because we rarely eat pasta at home. But when we do, we try to use a good whole wheat or gluten free pasta (Doves Farm is one of our gluten free favorites).

This recipe started with this bag of black mission figs that we spotted in the Bi Rite Market on 18th street. The figs looked so perfectly soft and ripe that we almost expected them to burst as we were looking at them. We immediately started fantasizing what we could do with them. And as we were walking around inside the food store, we came up with a pasta dish with roasted walnuts and goat cheese, a squeeze of a lemon, spinach, garlic and some white wine. It sounds good, right? We bought all the ingredients and rushed home to make this pasta while it was still fresh in our heads.

We started cooking. Put the water to a boil, roasted the walnuts, tasted the wine while looking for the bag of figs … the bag of figs … the bag of figs! Oh no, as we had been walking around dreaming about this fig pasta, we had forgotten to buy the figs that started it all.

So we had to prepare the dish as we had imagined it, but without the figs. And as we were eating it we were constantly closing our eyes, imaging the taste of those soft and sweet mission figs.

The day after we went back to the store, bought the figs and made the same dish all over again. And this time we didn’t have to imagine anything.

Fig & Walnut Spaghetti
Serves 2

whole wheat spaghetti, for 2 persons
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 small lemon, juice and zest
1 big bunch of fresh spinach
125 g goat cheese
100 g walnut halves, roasted with salt in a dry pan or in the oven
salt

5 fresh ripe figs, cut in quarters

Boil the spaghetti al dente, according to the instructions on the package, and set aside when done. Add olive oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and let it sweat for about 30 seconds before adding 2/3 of the wine and the lemon juice. Stir around, add spinach and goat cheese while stirring (save a small piece of the goat cheese for later). Let it simmer for three minutes before adding the spaghetti and the roasted walnuts. Stir for 30 seconds, taste it and add salt if needed, make sure that the spaghetti is covered in the goat cheese/wine/lemon cream then turn off the heat. Add the figs and gently fold them into the pasta. Serve on a big plate or in a bowl with the rest of the goat cheese and lemon peel sprinkled over it.

48 Comments

  • John Belshaw
    What happens to the last third-cup of white wine? The obvious thing to do with it is drink it, but I imagine you had some higher purpose in mind....
  • Anna
    I just made this recipe last night after finding fresh figs at the store. I have to say that this is my favorite dish that I've made of yours (and I've made quite a few). The combination of flavors was outstanding! Sweet, salty, savory--all in one bite.
  • Christine
    What kind of wine did you use?
  • Julie
    This was quite good! I didn't salt it quite enough, so I'll make sure to add more to my leftovers for tomorrow. A note about the recipe: You didn't mention what to do with the garlic (I used my garlic press to plop it into the hot oil) or the rest of the 1 cup white wine (I poured it over the spinach as it was cooking).
  • anonymous
    this sounds absolutely fantastic! I'm going to make this tomorrow as I have some figs I've been wondering how to use rather than eating straight. I don't like goat cheese though (I know I know, I'm one of those rare people)......would you have another cheese suggestion? I was thinking maybe queso fresco? Do you think that would work?
  • Junia
    Correction: I meant sauce, not salsa :)
  • Junia
    Hi, Thank you for the amazing recipe. I've tried and it's great! Do you believe it would be possible to have the salsa in a lasagna? If yes, do you think it could be prepared one day before baking?
  • Jenny
    Thank you for a very inspiring blog - even vegetarians need inspiration sometimes. This recipe I know I will love, and since I have family in California and have spent a lot of time there I too can imagine the figs in my mouth. Problem is, how do I find good fresh figs in Stockholm?? They are always so tart and almost shrivelled.. Since you know where to find good food I thought I'd ask. :)
  • Kaitlin
    Question! Do you mince the garlic or leave it whole? Thanks!
  • sandy
    I absolutely love figs, not to mention goat cheese and walnuts! This dish is on the menu tomorrow night. I thoroughly enjoy your blog!
  • I could not get mine to look nearly as beautiful as yours, but it was delicious!
  • Levina
    Delicious recipe, thank you for sharing! I knew I wouldn't be able to find any figs, so I used nectarines instead, which worked well. I substituted mozzarella for regular goat cheese as I don't like the strong taste. Next time I'll chop the walnuts first, to spread it more evenly. My parents and I loved it's special taste, it's a big winner! Especially on hot summer days.
  • I picked some kale and fig up at the market on Saturday and had to give this a try. Wow - I am so glad that I did! I felt like I was eating at some extravagant restaurant and the best bit is that it was oh so easy to make. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes and for your enthusiasm. My boyfriend will be making the hazelnut and mushroom loaf tomorrow and I am looking forward to trying it!
  • Yashika
    I tried this beautiful pasta with regular figs and oh my, the flavours are amazing! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! Can't wait to eat it again...
  • great pasta! I love goat cheese and figs! http://saladpride.blogspot.com/2010/09/figs-goat-cheese-and-lettuce.html :)
  • THOSE FIGS ARE AMAZING! We never see figs like that over here in Minnesota. Those kinds of figs you only find in places where they are grown! And I love the look of this pasta...
  • Such an innovative use of figs! I am in love.
  • Now this is my kind of spaghetti!!!! I love everyting about it!

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