Fig & Walnut Spaghetti

We have moved a couple of blocks. It turned out that living with a lousy kitchen was too hard for us. So now we are spending our last week in San Francisco in the Castro district. With a real kitchen to cook in and a small garden to eat in. It’s perfect! And we immediately started cooking.

We haven’t posted many pasta recipes on this blog. It’s simply because we rarely eat pasta at home. But when we do, we try to use a good whole wheat or gluten free pasta (Doves Farm is one of our gluten free favorites).

This recipe started with this bag of black mission figs that we spotted in the Bi Rite Market on 18th street. The figs looked so perfectly soft and ripe that we almost expected them to burst as we were looking at them. We immediately started fantasizing what we could do with them. And as we were walking around inside the food store, we came up with a pasta dish with roasted walnuts and goat cheese, a squeeze of a lemon, spinach, garlic and some white wine. It sounds good, right? We bought all the ingredients and rushed home to make this pasta while it was still fresh in our heads.

We started cooking. Put the water to a boil, roasted the walnuts, tasted the wine while looking for the bag of figs … the bag of figs … the bag of figs! Oh no, as we had been walking around dreaming about this fig pasta, we had forgotten to buy the figs that started it all.

So we had to prepare the dish as we had imagined it, but without the figs. And as we were eating it we were constantly closing our eyes, imaging the taste of those soft and sweet mission figs.

The day after we went back to the store, bought the figs and made the same dish all over again. And this time we didn’t have to imagine anything.

Fig & Walnut Spaghetti
Serves 2

whole wheat spaghetti, for 2 persons
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 small lemon, juice and zest
1 big bunch of fresh spinach
125 g goat cheese
100 g walnut halves, roasted with salt in a dry pan or in the oven

5 fresh ripe figs, cut in quarters

Boil the spaghetti al dente, according to the instructions on the package, and set aside when done. Add olive oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and let it sweat for about 30 seconds before adding 2/3 of the wine and the lemon juice. Stir around, add spinach and goat cheese while stirring (save a small piece of the goat cheese for later). Let it simmer for three minutes before adding the spaghetti and the roasted walnuts. Stir for 30 seconds, taste it and add salt if needed, make sure that the spaghetti is covered in the goat cheese/wine/lemon cream then turn off the heat. Add the figs and gently fold them into the pasta. Serve on a big plate or in a bowl with the rest of the goat cheese and lemon peel sprinkled over it.