Flour in style: fruits and nuts add a tasty touch to pasta

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When I want a quick and easy meal, I usually open my pantry and grab a packet of pasta.

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The combinations of what can go with it are endless. Often I can whip up a “sauce” while the noodles cook and have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.

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Today’s recipe was inspired by cookbook author Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for ‘Beggar’s Linguine’. She paired dried fruit, nuts and orange with pasta. A strange combination perhaps – but delicious.

In today’s recipe, I’ve included onion and garlic with canned chickpeas, as well as dried red pepper flakes to balance out the sweetness of the fruit. I like to finish this dish with a big handful of chopped fresh parsley.

This unusual vegetarian dish will surprise you.

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Pasta with Chickpeas, Nuts and Dried Fruits

(For 6 persons)

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1/4 cup (50ml) butter

1 onion, sliced

1/4 cup (50ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp. (2 mL) hot pepper flakes

*2/3 cup (150 ml) chopped almonds (or almonds and pistachios)

1/2 cup (125 mL) dried figs or chopped apricots – or a combination of both

1/4 cup (50 mL) raisins

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 lb (500 g) dried long pasta

1/3 cup (75 mL) grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Zest and juice of half an orange

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped parsley


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. While the water begins to boil, heat the butter in a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat.

3. Add onion, cook until tender and beginning to turn lightly browned.

4. Add olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, almonds, dried fruits and raisins.

5. Cook, stirring frequently, for several minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and reduce the heat to low.

6. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente.

7. When the pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer the pasta to the pan with the fruit and nut mixture. The pasta water will help create a nice sauce.

8. Stir in Parmesan, orange zest and juice and parsley. Stir well. Salt to taste.

9. Serve with more cheese and a small bowl of red pepper flakes on the side.


  • You can use raw sliced ​​or blanched almonds
  • I sometimes add 3 cups (750ml) fresh spinach in step 8. Stir until spinach wilts.