Skip to Content

Beggar’s Linguine

Beggar's Linguine

Beggar’s Linguine is SoupAddict’s most recent life lesson on the value of listening to your superiors. I always assumed that the life lessons to be learned would decrease as you get older (and, presumably, wiser), but that hasn’t been the case. The Universe just keeps packin’ ’em on.

Of course, the prerequisite life lesson here is to identify who your superiors actually are. Sandra Lee and her canned frosting “chocolate truffles” (follow link at your own risk [shudder])?

Not SoupAddict’s superior.

Dorie Greenspan? Most definitely.

So, flashback to February, when the “French Fridays with Dorie” group received our schedule of March recipes. Beggar’s Linguine. Hmm. I flipped open the book to the recipe and scanned the ingredients … and pulled a muscle doing the most exaggerated eyeroll ever.

A total bitchin’ rock star eyeroll from Mars, you could say, lol.

Dried fruit, nuts, orange zest, cheese … on pasta? Am I reading this right? Fruit and nuts and pasta, sans sauce? Oh, dear. I really wanted to not like this dish.

I think it was the raisins that did me in. Not. a. fan. Raisins and pasta. I really wanted to hate this dish.

There was no way I was going to serve it for a meal to, like, people I knew (raisins!), so, I made a quick lunch of it, substituting dried cranberries for the dreaded raisins.

I melted the enormous amount of a butter in a small pan, and dumped in the dried fruit and nuts. Fruit and nuts on pasta, no sauce — crikey!

But when SoupAddict lobs a big ole “Pffft!” into the Universe, the Universe almost always responds with, “Here, SoupAddict, go ahead and have a slice of this here Humble Pie. You look like you could use it.”

Yup, that’s right. The Universe put the smackdown on SoupAddict. What happened was, the butter began to brown. And the heady hazelnut aroma of browned butter mixed with the nuts and cranberries and figs … and suddenly it all made sense.

I hurriedly dumped the pasta onto a plate and poured on the brown butter mixture. A little orange zest, a little Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. O. M. G.

I was still thinking about this dish the next day when I woke up, which doesn’t happen often, because I’m always planning what’s next.

Just for the record, SoupAddict rejected the Humble Pie because it would’ve taken up too much room in her tummy. There’s beggar’s linguine to be eaten, people.

Karen xo

P.S.: Initially I had assumed that the word “beggar’s” in the title meant it was an inexpensive dish to pull together. In hindsight, I’m certain that it means that, once tried, you’ll beg for this dish again and again.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Beggar's Linguine

A surprising, unique and delightfully delicious pasta dish that will have you begging for more.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beggar's linguine
Servings: 4
Calories: 285kcal
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 1 box 14 to 16 ounces 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 raisins (golden raisins are nice here)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan more or less to taste
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange or more to taste
  • Minced chives and/or parsley leaves for serving (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Cook the linguine according to the package directions. When the pasta is cooked, drain well.
  • About 5 minutes before the pasta is ready, melt the butter over medium heat in a large high-sided skillet or casserole. (You’re going to add the pasta to this pan, so make sure it’s large enough.) When the butter is melted, hot and golden, stir in the nuts, figs and raisins. Allow the butter to bubble and boil – you want it to cook to a lovely light brown butter with the color and fragrance of hazelnuts – and when it's reached just the color you want, add the pasta to the pan. Stir the pasta around in the butter to coat it evenly and to tangle it up with the bits of fruit and nuts.
  • 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.
  • Serving: Bring the pasta to the table and, just before you’re ready to dish out the first serving, give it one more toss to mix in the zest and herbs. The pasta is so good – and so surprising – that it should be served on its own as its own course, whether first, middle, or main.


Calories: 285kcal
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
adapted from Around My French Table
Garlic Soup
← Previous
Time to Daydream
Next →

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Saturday 25th of February 2012

SoupAddict, one year later and we're still eating Beggar's Linguine. The flexibility inherent in this recipe is nearly miraculous: any nuts, any fruit, any pasta. Imagination seems to be the only limiting factor. No orange peel? I had TJ's orange-flavored dried cranberries, which were fabulous. Yes, fresh and hot is best, but even cold and/or reheated, this dish keeps on giving. Thank you so much, again, for putting it out there.


Sunday 20th of March 2011

I just discovered you today and I am already a fan. I have forwarded your Bolognese to several people just to lure them to your site. Your photos are scrumptious - and I have no doubt the recipes are fabulous. Thank you for taking the time to put this all together!!! Lissie


Tuesday 15th of March 2011

You always make me laugh! I had the same reaction as you when I read the recipe, and now my fears are assuaged:) Your photos are fantastic and I'll have to kick my family out of the house one day just to make this pasta (non of them would have enjoyed it, and I decided not to make it:(


Sunday 13th of March 2011

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I love how pretty this dish looks with the dried cranberries. I'm going to try that next time. I really loved this pasta too and completely agree about Dorie being a superior that's worth following! :) Great post.


Sunday 13th of March 2011

I absolutely loved this recipe with the same zeal you did. I stepped outside the safe zone and was rewarded. Great post!