Linguine Mendiant (Beggar's Linguine)

This is a sweet and savory pasta that's wonderful to serve on a cool evening. The combination of nuts, dried fruit, and parmesan cheese is very rich and extremely satisfying. Loaded with protein, it's a great vegetarian option, and Linguine Mendiant is the perfect dish to make if you're in a rush for dinner.
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 pound linguine

  • 1-1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

  • 1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

  • 8 plump dried mission figs or 3 dried kadota figs, finely diced

  • 1/4 cup plump, moist golden raisins 

  • 1/2 cup grated Reggiano parmesan 

  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange 

  • Minced chives and/or parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1: Cook the linguine according to the package directions.  
Step 2: About 5 minutes before the pasta is ready, melt butter over medium heat in a large high-sided skillet or casserole. 
Step 3: When the butter is melted, hot and golden, stir in the nuts, figs and raisins.  
Step 4: Allow the butter to bubble and boil – you want it to cook to a lovely light brown. The butter should have the color and fragrance of hazelnuts – and when it’s reached just the color you want, add the pasta to the pan.  
Step 5: Stir the pasta around in the butter to coat it evenly and to tangle it up with the bits of fruit and nuts.
Step 6: Turn the pasta into a warm serving bowl, add the grated cheese and season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper.  Toss and turn the pasta to incorporate the cheese, then dust the top of the mound with orange zest and chives and/or parsley, if you’re using them. Serve immediately