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Beggar’s Linguine with Video

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Beggar’s Linguine is a delicious, vegetarian pasta, filled with ingredients that are easily kept in the pantry: dried fruits and nuts, sautéed in browned butter.  It’s  the most delicious “Desperation Dinner” I’ve made in a long time! 


I was invited to participate in in something called “My Writing Process Blog Tour”, so before I share this easy and delicious pantry-friendly recipe with you, I’m going to take a quick detour and answer the 4 questions sent to me that describe my writing process. FEEL FREE to skip that part, and scroll on down to the recipe, but DON’T MISS THE VIDEO I MADE FOR YOU DEMONSTRATING BEGGAR’S LINGUINE!

“My Writing Process Food Blogging Tour”.

Here are the four questions I was sent for the “My Writing Process Food Blog Tour”,

If you’re curious, I promise to TRY to be interesting, and brief. How’s that?

What are you working on?

Lots of things, lately! I helped a friend do a video (you can see it here on my About page) for McCormick Spices, where I shared a recipe and talked about why it was special to our family, and his video won an Honorable Mention! We had so much fun filming that, that my husband caught the “let’s make videos” bug, and we’ve really been having fun together learning how to do that. (Be sure to scroll down and watch the video we made for today’s recipe, if you want to see how we’re doing!)

I’ve written some food/wine pairing posts for a wine store in town called Red Spirits and Wine. They’re working on launching a brand new website, and I can’t wait to share the work I’ve done for them!

I’m the Food Columnist for Midlife Boulevard, an online magazine for midlife women, and I’m always thinking about my next post for them. And, I’m a member of The Cabot Cheese Board, and ALWAYS love working with their products, and tasting some of their exciting new varieties as well.

And if that weren’t enough, I purchased several copies of a book I’ve been talking about for months called The Cure, just so that I could give them away. I plan to do that giveaway in the next week or so, and I’m doing it just because I believe that strongly in the wonderful message contained in that book. So, my plate’s been more than full, lately!

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I think my problem has always been that I don’t HAVE a single genre! I do write a lot about food. But I won’t be contained! (And that attitude has probably to my detriment, from a blogging perspective.)

I do love sharing recipes (the Food part of my subtitle: Food, Faith, and Fun) and my husband’s beautiful photography, but I also love to tell a good story. That’s the Fun part.

I’m not a humor blogger, per se, but people tell me my stories crack them up. And then, some folks say that my more sentimental stories make them cry.  I don’t tell many stories about my kids these days, because when they reached their teen years, I felt it was important to respect their privacy, so if I DO post something that concerns them, I make sure to secure their permission, first.

But if I didn’t talk about my faith, I feel like I’d be lopping off the most important part of me. So…for better or for worse…I don’t really have a genre. I’m just one of the many “Susan Williams” who will cross your path in this life. So, to differentiate me, you’ll just have to think of me as “Oh…that Susan Williams”.

Why do you write what you do?

I think I just answered that.
I’m a storyteller. It’s what I do. 
It’s who I am.
And I write because people seem to really appreciate it when I share from my heart.
God made me this way.
So, let’s blame Him.

How does your “writing process” work?

I’m always toying with words in my head, but nothing really takes off,  until I sit down and, in the words of Nike, “just do it”.

If it’s a food post, I’m usually thinking seasonally. Many of my newer recipes have come about because a particular vegetable showed up in my CSA share, or because something in the grocery store produce section looked beautiful and perfect. Or, keeping it real, very often something shows up on my blog because my sweet tooth was clamoring for satisfaction. And sometimes, I’ll post a recipe because I remember that there’s this dish that I’ve been making for years, and I’m fantasizing that perhaps, someday my children might want to know how I made that dish…

If it’s a story, or a devotional that I’m working on, I write because I realize that there are thoughts in my head that are clamoring to be let out, and that if I don’t type them out, my brain might explode. Some people declutter their homes. I have to declutter my mind. It’s self-preservation. There’s only so much mental real estate available. I find that some of my very best ideas begin to take form, and then come together, in the shower. I’m pretty sure that for me, the shower is as close to a physical place of Divine Inspiration as there ever will be.

So, there you have it. So much more than you ever wanted, or needed, to know. But, at least I answered the questions!

 The Promised Recipe: Beggar’s Linguine

Now, as to this recipe: it is absolutely amazing. No, seriously. It may sound a little weird, or surprising. It did to me! I wasn’t even convinced I like figs! DO NOT BE PUT OFF by this combination of ingredients!!!!!! This recipe is so delicious, I find myself craving it, whatever the season!


Beggar’s Linguine is a Dorie Greenspan recipe.

It originated from a cookbook by Dorie Greenspan, called “Around My French Table”. The name, “Beggar’s Linguine” comes from the name of a candy, called a mendiant, which means “beggar”, in French. This particular chocolate bonbon is topped with dried fruits and nuts, and a shaving of orange zest:  But as Dorie Greespan pointed out so aptly, were this pasta NOT named Beggar’s Linguine, you’d find me begging for it, whatever its name!

Substitutions You Can Make to Beggar’s Linguine

The evening I stumbled across this recipe, I was casting about for something to make, with not much in the fridge. I drug out the Dorie Greenspan cookbook, looking for SOME kind of pasta dish, since I knew I had pasta in the pantry. What I found was this recipe, and serendipity struck!  

I had some dried fruits and nuts, and while I didn’t have the orange that this recipe called for, I DID have some mandarin oranges.  So, basically, I really think you could substitute other dried fruits, like apricots, if you prefer, or other nuts, like walnuts, or hazelnuts, or even lemon zest, if you have no orange or mandarin oranges. The overall idea is that you’ll need the sweet of the fruit, the crunch of the nut, the brightness and  zing of the citrus zest, and the glorious nuttiness of the browned butter and grated Parmesan. 

Yield: 4 servings

Beggar's Linguine

A vegetarian pasta with browned butter, dried fruits and nuts.

Beggar's Linguine is the perfect meal for when you've got nothing in the fridge, but a well supplied pantry. Quick, easy and amazingly delicious!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 pound dried linguine
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) butter
  • 1/3 c. pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 c. almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 8 dried Calimyrna Figs, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 c. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • grated zest of 1/2 of an orange (or 2 mandarin oranges)
  • minced fresh chives or parsley


  1. Cook linguine according to package directions. Water should be salty (like the sea). For a large pot of water, I use 3 T. salt.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, melt the butter in a large casserole. (You are going to put the cooked pasta in this pot, so be sure to use a large pot.) When the butter is melted, stir in the nuts, figs, and raisins. Allow the butter to bubble, and brown lightly: you want it to smell nutty, like hazelnuts, and be a light brown in color.
  3. When the butter has reached just the color you want it, add the drained linguine, and stir it around in the browned butter and fruits and nuts, to coat it evenly. Taste it, and then season to taste with salt, pepper, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Sprinkle the top of each dish with orange zest, chives, and more Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Oh, my goodness: this is so good!!!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 453mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 8gSugar: 25gProtein: 16g
Beggar's Linguine

Please: pin this on Pinterest!

Hope you’ll pin Beggar’s Linguine to Pinterest, or share it on Facebook!

Christi P.

Monday 16th of June 2014

I'm pretty sure I've only had fig in Newton form, but this looks great!

Susan Williams

Monday 16th of June 2014

Me, too, Christi! I bought the figs for another recipe, that I never got around to making. So, there they were, just sitting in my pantry, begging to be used. Serendipity, I tell ya!

Barbara Torris

Monday 16th of June 2014

Well, I am a pasta lover so I will be printing this one. I loved this concept of connecting and sharing. Thank you.

b+ My recent post Fun In Retirement: Writing a pretend book!

Susan Williams

Monday 16th of June 2014

If you are a pasta lover, I'll bet this dish will hit all the right notes. And, participating in this process has been a great way to connect with some new friends, too!

joan stommen

Monday 16th of June 2014 the way you combined all this so smoothly! Segueing is not it even a word? My favorite part was your terrific evening; serendipity for sure. The best way to live in the moment, to recognize how little moments become special times! Great job, Susan!

Susan Williams

Monday 16th of June 2014

Thank you so much, Joan! Really high praise! I value your comment more than you know. :)

Walker Thornton

Monday 16th of June 2014

Wow, that recipe looks fabulous! A must try! My recent post Letting Go of Our Old Stories

Susan Williams

Monday 16th of June 2014

Some day, Walker, you and I will have to bond over some dish, be it a main, or a dessert, that has browned butter! :D I now know one of the ways to your heart.


Monday 16th of June 2014

I would never have thought of combining these flavors and textures in a pasta! Great post, Susan. Always glad to read your latest. My recent post My Story of Strength

Susan Williams

Monday 16th of June 2014

Thanks, Anne!!! I appreciate it!

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