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French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!)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

  1. Susan March 11, 2011 at 06:17 #

    Hi, Mardi!

    I’d like to give you a Stylish Blogger Award. Please visit my blog to pick it up: http://www.createamazingmeals.com/2011/03/stylish-blogger-award.html


  2. Belinda @zomppa March 11, 2011 at 06:39 #

    Love the idea of figs and raisins in this. Definitely something to beg for more!

  3. My Carolina Kitchen March 11, 2011 at 06:52 #

    Funny, this was a recipe I would not have thought I would like, but seeing your review and your pictures, you’ve definitely changed my mind. Thanks.

  4. Mr. Neil March 11, 2011 at 07:19 #

    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. 🙂

  5. Joan Nova March 11, 2011 at 07:34 #

    Good one, Mardi. I have to try it. Neil – interesting pairing.

  6. Liz March 11, 2011 at 08:02 #

    Gorgeous photos as always, Mardi! Glad you were up to making this one…hope you’re feeling 100% soon~

  7. Adora's Box March 11, 2011 at 08:19 #

    I will definitely make this pasta. It’s like dessert’s included. I like my food sweet actually. I might add chilli oil (just because I always do).

  8. Adriana March 11, 2011 at 08:30 #

    I would love to see the outcome of the dish with the chocolate pasta!

  9. Rochelle (Acquired Taste) March 11, 2011 at 09:12 #

    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 😀

  10. Happy When Not Hungry March 11, 2011 at 09:15 #

    This linguine looks delicious! Love how fresh it looks too.

  11. Trix March 11, 2011 at 09:23 #

    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

  12. Kristen March 11, 2011 at 09:37 #

    What a gorgeous looking linguine dish!

  13. Ethan March 11, 2011 at 10:00 #

    Glad to have you back and cooking Mardi!

  14. Brian @ A Thought For Food March 11, 2011 at 10:04 #

    I love the sweet/savory components in this dish and the texture the pistachios bring to it. Beautiful!

  15. megan @ whatmegansmaking March 11, 2011 at 10:04 #

    Very unique! It looks so pretty though. I’m a little nervous to try it, but I’m glad to see your positive review 🙂

  16. MikeVFMK March 11, 2011 at 10:35 #

    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.

  17. Candy March 11, 2011 at 12:56 #

    Looks beautiful! Love the idea to make this with chocolate pasta. Shoot – I love the idea of chocolate pasta!

  18. Monica (Ms. Hobby) March 11, 2011 at 13:30 #

    Looks yummy! The chives gave it a great pop of green color.

  19. Kristy March 11, 2011 at 13:35 #

    This looks greats, simple ingredients! Almost reminds me of Spring!

  20. K A B L O O E Y March 11, 2011 at 13:40 #

    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.

    • Mr. Neil March 11, 2011 at 13:57 #

      The addition of bacon is almost *always* a good thing. 😉

      Which reminds me…we have a large roll of pancetta in the cellar to bring up!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2011 at 16:41 #

      I think if I served this to you with bacon, you would be convinced!

  21. sarina March 11, 2011 at 14:56 #

    What a beautiful photo of your final dish!

  22. SoupAddict Karen March 11, 2011 at 15:28 #

    Bacon makes everything better. 🙂

  23. sara @CaffeIna March 11, 2011 at 20:46 #

    A simple linguine dish is just what I need for tonight dinner! Thanks for the inspiration.
    I’m also glad to hear the worse is over and you are getting better

  24. Cher March 11, 2011 at 20:57 #

    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).

  25. kitchenarian March 11, 2011 at 22:31 #

    Love your pasta dish and can’t wait to see your chocolate version. Great job!

  26. chefpandita March 12, 2011 at 01:32 #

    Chocolate pasta sounds delicious!

  27. Magic of Spice March 12, 2011 at 14:26 #

    What a fun pasta dish, does sound delightful and love the name 🙂
    Sorry that you have not been well, hope you are feeling better soon.

  28. Paula March 12, 2011 at 21:52 #

    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.

  29. cat March 13, 2011 at 09:02 #

    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.

  30. Conor @ Hold the Beef March 13, 2011 at 09:05 #

    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..

  31. Betsy March 13, 2011 at 12:08 #

    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.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2011 at 16:36 #

      Well I will see how it works out with chocolate pasta – you might like that version better.

  32. amanda @ fake ginger March 13, 2011 at 19:32 #

    Your photo looks fantastic! I hear you on the bacon – I mean, what doesn’t bacon make better? 😉

  33. StephIrey March 13, 2011 at 19:56 #

    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!

  34. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 13, 2011 at 20:52 #

    Glad to see you in the kitchen! This is a lovely, and interesting dish… Even though you’re not feeling well, you’re still making some pretty awesome and inspiring food!

  35. Anna Johnston March 15, 2011 at 02:58 #

    Wow huh…, what great flavour pairings in this linguine. So tantalising.

  36. Lana March 15, 2011 at 03:54 #

    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.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 15, 2011 at 16:29 #

      Yes well I literally made 50g of pasta just for me! Getting quite good at the math in the kitchen!

  37. penny aka jeroxie March 16, 2011 at 02:06 #

    yah… I will throw in some bacon as well.. must have pork!

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