I was excited a few weeks ago to see Dorie’s Beggar’s Linguine included in this month’s French Fridays with Dorie recipes. I had spied it when I first got the book, intrigued by a pasta served with nuts and dried fruit whose name comes from the French “mendiant” (beggar). I had only ever heard of mendiants in their sweet chocolate form – a disc of chocolate topped with nuts and dried fruit and sometimes candied orange zest – and fell in love with them when I lived in Belgium and, later, France. I mean, what’s not to love?
(If you’re interested, Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini has a fabulous recipe and instructions here)
The idea of a simple linguine with browned butter sauce studded with pistachios, raisins, figs and almonds and tossed with parmesan, chives and a little lemon zest was intriguing to me and I couldn’t wait to try it out. It was the perfect dish for me to get myself back in the kitchen after over 2 weeks away. And it literally took 5 minutes to throw together. I actually had the ingredients measured out and cut up already as I had thought I might make it earlier in the week but overestimated my energy levels (which are still very low).
And the result?
I loved this! The nuttiness of the pistachios and almonds combined with the sweet raisins and figs was a perfect flavour (and texture) combination. The chives and lemon zest worked well with the buttery, parmesan-y pasta and really made for a lovely, bright dish. After a rough two weeks, this felt like a lovely indulgence (especially as I made it in the middle of the day for lunch!).
Next time, I might throw in some diced bacon – think that would work really well – a lovely sweet and salty combination! I also have some chocolate pasta that I bought in Seattle last year that I might just have to experiment with – imagine – a dessert version of this dish?
Want to join French Fridays with Dorie? Join here.
French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon (great price right now) or here on Amazon Canada (it’s also on special!). Go on, treat yourself – join us in 2011!
(PS: thank you all for your well wishes – it’s nice to be missed. Since this thing is viral, it will be a few weeks before I am back to normal but hopefully we are over the worst!)