French Fridays with Dorie: Beggar’s linguine

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French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!)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!)

66 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Beggar’s linguine”

  1. I was out last night – hence Mardi cooking on her own – so have not tried. (I did have a nice dinner of lamb chops, though…)

    I’m going out on a limb with a wine reco some may find unorthodox: Sherry. (Dry, not the sweet cream you might be thinking of from your grandmother!) It will accent the almonds in the dish superbly, and marry well with the figs and other dried fruits.

    My suggestion would be an amontillado first, fino second; or possibly oloroso if the higher alcohol content does not stress you (often 17% on the latter). Careful with the oloroso though – some are sweeter in style.

    If you must go for something else, an off-dry Riesling would be my suggestion. But trust me – try the Sherry first. 🙂

  2. The photos of this pasta are making me drool over here, Mardi! I normally don’t think of fruit to go with pasta but I think if it’s as good tasting as it looks, I have to give it a try especially with it so easy and quick to cook 😀

  3. Your photo is beautiful! I am so happy to see you starting to feel a bit better – you are the blogging bundle of energy who inspires us all when we’re too tired to lift a finger to the keyboard, you know. xoxo

  4. Mardi, love the pictures. The flavours look like they play well with each other and love the texture the pistachios and dried fruit must bring. It’s certainly unusual but I’d grab a fork.

    Glad you’re on your way back to feeling normal again.

  5. It’s funny — I like sweet and savory, and it seems natural with rice or cous cous, but I wouldn’t have been excited about the combo with pasta except that I trust you. I like pumpkin ravioli IF they’re not too sweet, but can’t think of another sweet and savory pasta. But the dish does look beautiful and tasty, then again, your pictures always look that way. The addition of bacon sounds VERY good.

  6. Hope you are feeling better.

    Love the chocolate pasta idea. I have a recipe for chocolate pasta that I am always looking for ideas for serving it (besides strawberries & whipped cream).

  7. This dish looks lovely and I bet that the bacon would be a perfect addition to it. I’m seeing the Twitter stream that you are still not 100%. How frustrating for you Mardi and now w/plans having to be changed. Only hope that this school break affords you the opportunity to heal completely and still have a few days left to enjoy without the inner ear troubles. Take good care.

  8. so glad to see you back online! i hope you’re feeling significantly better soon. viral yuck loves to hang on, doesn’t it? ugh. your lovely fruit and nut pasta dish looks lovely and sounds delicious. not flavors i’d ever think to pair together, but they sound like they work nicely. i think bacon – or some of your homemade pancetta! – would go nicely with this as well.

  9. I find this recipe really quite intriguing, and am not quite sure if I would love it or hate it. Given my diet restrictions at the moment I guess this will remain a mystery for at least a little while longer..

  10. I feel like I ended up in the minority, not loving this dish. To me, it reminded me of dessert for dinner, though I like your idea of trying this with chocolate pasta as dessert! Glad you are feeling better.

  11. Mardi…looks great, as usual! I’m impressed with your keeping up with everything while being under the weather. I hope you’ve turned the corner and are back to 100% asap. I also want you to post when you use the chocolate pasta. I want to hear all about that!

  12. I am so glad that you are feeling better! Whatever you had was very weird and persistent. Good to have you back:)
    I skipped this pasta, because I would have been the only one to eat it, while the rest of the family would have snubbed it (usually they are not picky, but raisins and nuts don’t go too well for them:)
    I love your photos and I applaud the addition of bacon. It would balance the dish nicely.


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