ffwD: Beggar’s Thin Spaghetti

I’m not going to lie. I was rather hesitant about this recipe. I mean, incorporating ingredients in a pasta that are usually garnishes for pieces of chocolate? A “fruit and nuts” pasta? A rather interesting idea, but I couldn’t imagine how it would taste.

I made a few small changes to the recipe. As you can tell by the title, I didn’t have linguine on hand but thin spaghetti instead. Next, the pistachios I had in my cupboard seemed a bit old, so I threw them out and used hazelnuts that I had leftover from a previous recipe. As for the golden raisins, I have given them several chances to prove themselves on prior Dorie recipes, but my sister and I really don’t care for them. So, I left those out as well. I was going to go one step further and get dates as a replacement for the golden raisins, but I’d never heard of dates on chocolates, so I decided against it. The hardest ingredient to track down seemed to be the Mission figs. Seriously, I’ve been on a week-long mission for Mission figs and didn’t actually procure them until today! After searching two local grocery stores and a Greektown specialty food store, I located California Mission figs at Fox & Obel. I made specific mention to the store clerk that I needed “eight plump Mission figs”, and he proceeded to dig through the entire jar to find the eight plumpest! Woo hoo! He was very particular, which I liked.

"Eight plump Mission figs" all chopped up

Therefore, the “fruit and nuts” in my dish included almonds, hazelnuts and Mission figs.

Waiting to be melted and tossed in butter

Preparing this dish was easy enough. I like the concept of browned butter and will probably use that technique in future pasta dishes. The dish itself tasted good, especially since it had Parmesan cheese sprinkled throughout. I also liked biting into a fig piece for a bit of sweetness! But, overall, I wasn’t wowed. I think I’m used to my pastas being heartier and bulkier with proteins and vegetables.

A pot of Beggar's thin spaghetti


Check out other bloggers’ thoughts and results on this “fruit and nuts” pasta at French Fridays with Dorie. As usual, the recipe for this dish can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

53 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. GPL
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 00:21:05

    Great job on the figs!! This recipe seems more like a side dish than an entree/meal. I agree that I’m used to bulkier pasta with veggies in particular. Dessert pasta sounds interesting though…I’ve made chocolate pizza, so why not pasta…also lemon pastas would go nicely with the dessert ideas too! Boo for gross raisins, glad you left them out!

  2. Ronda
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 00:54:11

    My husband would be ecstatic if I left raisins out out everything! Your pasta looks very tasty.

  3. chefpandita
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 00:57:41

    I bet the hazelnuts tasted great in this pasta dish! I was skeptic at first but I really liked this pasta🙂

    U know what else I like? that panda bowl of yours. KAWAII!!!🙂

  4. Jessica
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 03:04:13

    What a bizarre pasta. I would have reacted the same way if I had seen the ingredient list. Were the mission figs worth the trouble of finding them? Good for you for throwing out the raisins. >_<

  5. Liz
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 05:11:38

    I was surprised how much I liked this dish…but wondering where and when I’d ever serve it again. Certainly not an entree for my family…but I’m really glad I tried it. I think you can make lots of substitutions and still have the same experience…but glad you found the figs🙂

  6. Betsy
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 05:49:37

    This was a weird one, wasn’t it? I love that the clerk went through the whole jar to pick out the plumpest figs for you! Keep shopping at a store like that!

  7. Kathy
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 07:22:15

    YC, I felt the same way you did when I read the recipe. However, I Thought it was surprisingly good! Sorry you weren’t crazy about it! If you have a Trader Joe’s close to you they carry all sorts of dried fruits and nuts.

  8. Cher
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 07:34:44

    I hear you! This one definitely weirded me out on paper, but loved it in the end. Good job on chasing down those figs! (I ended up with Medjool dates, because the figs just weren’t happening…)

  9. Ker-Yng
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 07:39:59

    Looks good! It’s too bad you didn’t like it much after all the work hunting for the figs!

  10. SoupAddict
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 08:49:36

    I’m with you on the raisins … soooo left those out!

  11. Trix
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 09:12:15

    I totally changed this one as well, and really liked the result. Love figs with cheese, but the raisins … too much sweet!

  12. claire
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 09:36:06

    looks like a strange mixture of nigredients/one’s i would not normall combine, but i am sure the finished product was great!

  13. Trevor Sis Boom
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 09:56:53

    Sometimes the hunt for ingredients is more fun than the actual dish. I went in a different direction. I subbed out the linguine too but got a more drastic deviation! Be sure to check it out so you can use any figs you have left!

  14. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 11:21:32

    So sorry that this one didn’t ‘wow’ you… I was completely amazed at how much I loved it (after my changes, of course).🙂

  15. Candy
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 11:39:30

    Great idea to use hazelnuts! I’m sure they enhanced the nutty flavor of the browned butter beautifully.

    • Candy
      Mar 11, 2011 @ 11:50:35

      I think I need to change my name! Who knew that having the name “Candy” would ever be confusing! Haha

  16. Candy
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 11:48:32

    Loved your story about the figs!!

    It wasn’t my favorite either, but at least it was interesting! Yours looks great.

  17. Adriana
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 11:51:30

    I think this pasta would be great as part of a brunch. It reminds me of my favorite oatmeal toppings. I did enjoy it, but only after adding loads of pepper and cheese.

  18. Audrey
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 13:13:16

    I’m a little jealous that you could buy just the eight figs you needed. I almost had to buy 10 times more than I needed (till I found a smaller package — not the right kind, but still good.)

  19. slongcoat
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 13:39:54

    How cool that you got hand-picked figs just for this dish! 🙂

  20. Flourchild
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 14:54:27

    It looks outstanding!! I liked the blend of flavors too!!!

  21. Kankana
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 14:54:33

    i was a little shocked😀 but then as i kept reading .. i got tempted .. and it really looks delicious..

  22. Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup!
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 15:15:10

    I didn’t know you were a fellow attorney! Cooking is so much more fun than the law, don’t you think😉 Just wish I could figure out a way to give up my suits for a chef’s jacket and make as much money. This pasta was interesting, but I probably did prefer the chocolate dessert that inspired it more.

  23. Becky
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 15:43:00

    I think my kids agree with you that they’d rather have someone like marinara sauce on their spaghetti and I’d have to agree, but it was fun to try something different.

  24. Becky
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 15:43:36

    oops. meant something … not someone.

  25. sara
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 16:48:45

    I really loved the figs in this recipe too, although I agree with you that I wasn’t “wow-ed” overall. 🙂

  26. TheSceneFromMe
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 17:16:02

    I’d definitely try this pasta, I love thin noodles, but not sure about the fig in it.
    And of course I’d have garlic bread on the side!

  27. Parsley Sage
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 18:20:05

    Pretty neat concept but I’m not sure I’m that adventurous. I, like you, prefer my pasta with bulky, hearty goodness but then I haven’t given this a try and you mustn’t judge too quickly. Perhaps I’ll give it a go🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. Lola's Kitchen
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 19:37:00

    Jealous of your grocer’s attention to figs! I loved this dish.

  29. kitchenarian
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 20:23:23

    Those figs are amazing – great job! I loved this dish.

  30. Terra
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 20:48:59

    I am hesitant to try this too, it is an interesting mix of flavors. But if you did it, I will too!!! I hope I can find some figs, we will see:-)
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Take care,
    Terra

  31. Monica (MsHobby)
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 22:26:13

    I love your story about the particular clerk at the grocery. It is nice to have good service! Your dish looks good, sorry it wasn’t a winner for you.

  32. ryan
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 22:51:25

    Oooh great idea to use hazelnuts–I’ll have to try that next time! Your pasta looks wonderful! I can’t believe how difficult it was to find mission figs. I was really shocked to find them at our rinky dink Kroger. I think they got there by mistake. 🙂

    And yeah, the girl who plays Eponine is amazing. She has a killer voice!!

  33. sanyaliving
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 23:21:50

    We all seemed to be on the same wavelength with this one! I am glad I gave it a shot, even if I never have it again!

  34. Elaine
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 08:14:10

    I’m sure the hazelnuts added a nuttier taste with this pasta especially with the parmesan cheese. I’m sorry you didn’t like it. It was definitely a pasta I have never tasted before, but I did really like that it wasn’t heavy in sauce and texture. Great post!

  35. Mary
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 08:45:59

    At least you tried it! I don’t like raisins either, so that was an instant turn-off. I do like the remaining ingredients, so maybe I should give this a try. Or maybe I should just shut up and make some pasta carbonara! I know I love that.🙂

  36. Allison
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 10:16:03

    I love that you used hazelnuts! I was thinking about using angel hair pasta as that’s all I usually have in my house. It’s good to see that the the spaghetti worked well!

  37. Mary
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 10:39:28

    This really is an intriguing pasta. I love things that are a bit outside the norm. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  38. Anne-Marie
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 11:00:55

    Miz Chunklet, I love your panda bowl! I had the same experience with mission figs. I was told they were not in season. Since when is dried fruit not in season?! I admire your bold substitutions.

  39. angela
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 14:40:56

    I am very impressed by the grocer who took you at your word about the plump figs. I need to track him down. Apparently, my nephew is wild for figs (I found this out when he ate his share, my share, and his mother’s share at Ash Wednesday dinner). If I told your grocer I needed enough figs to feed a hungry toddler, I can imagine he would be obliging.

  40. Mary
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 15:52:42

    I love that the store clerk searched for the best 8 figs….so cute🙂.

  41. Chaya
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 18:35:04

    You found yourself a good grocer. Nice dish, you made.

  42. Chaya
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 18:36:13

    I would love to take a count on how many like this and how many don’/ We did.

    I blogged mine here and not above.

  43. Krissy
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 23:23:37

    It actually excites me that you asked for the plump figs and received help to get them…I just don’t think to ask. I usually just select a package off the shelf and go…I need to dig up some better ingredients…I need to ask like you.

  44. Miri Leigh
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 11:16:58

    This looks fantastic. Thanks for posting- I can’t wait to try it out myself!

  45. Trackback: Sorry, raisins, you’ll get no love here! « Yummy Chunklet
  46. KB from Prof Who Cooks
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 12:06:25

    It looks really great, and I agree that it was definitely not something I’d have chosen on my own (especially with that whole dried fruit with pasta thing). Thanks for the info on the hazelnuts, too!

  47. amanda @ fake ginger
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 18:38:05

    So funny that he dug around for the plumpest ones! He must’ve been a real foodie!

    Your photos look great and it’s good to hear that you enjoyed it!

  48. Steph - jumpingoffthecliff
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 18:48:29

    Gotta add the bacon baby…it’s just what this dish begged for. Pardon my pun.

  49. Mia Summer Rose
    Mar 14, 2011 @ 02:20:30

    The hazelnuts are an excellente sub am sure.
    I did wonder about the flavors about this recipe too:-)
    I want to fit this in during the last week. Ha ha , love ur experience at the store , i love that he did that.
    Yeah the browned butter sure sounds good , very good.
    I definitely want to toss this delicious pasta and ur pics and post make me wanna do it all the more.

  50. Lana
    Mar 15, 2011 @ 02:33:33

    I skipped this dish, because I would be the only one to give it a try. If I kick my family out of the house one day, I might attempt to make it, but un til then, nada!
    What is it with people hating raisins? My kids love almost all the dried fruit, but not raisins. Huh.
    It was very nice of your grocery store guy to pick those plump figs for you:)

  51. blackbookkitchendiaries
    Mar 15, 2011 @ 18:23:08

    this looks so yummy! i love the brown butter in here:) yum!

  52. Dimah
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 07:58:00

    Wow, that looks wonderful!

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