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I Messed It Up: Fettuccine with Figs and Chiles

(post, Michelle Calabretta)

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I love figs, and they've been showing up at the market along with Hatch chiles the past few weeks. This recipe seemed perfect for what's in season now. 

When I got to the store, the only fresh figs left were picked over and a bit moldy. Undeterred, I settled for dried figs from the bulk section. There were plenty of freshly roasted Hatch Chiles to be had, so I got those instead of the dried chiles in the recipe. 

The recipe says that 8 fresh figs will produce 10-12 cups of chopped fig. I'm not sure what planet they get their figs from, but the figs I've been eating the past few weeks would produce MAYBE 2 cups from 8 fatties. I bought 12 dried figs and treated them as the recipe instructs. Same with the fresh chiles. I used two as the recipe calls for. I modified the recipe to suit my needs, cutting the amount of pasta to 8 oz (4 servings), the oil to 1 tablespoon, and using an entire container (6 oz) of plain yogurt (easier than measuring it out) and only one lemon. I was happy at how quickly it all came together.

I sat down to eat, and the first bite can only be described as painful. About half way through my meal I could no longer taste anything, my head was pounding and my nose running. I downed a cup of soy milk to quench the flames and started to pick out the remaining bits of chile from my plate. I'm sure it helped, but my tongue was on fire at this point so I couldn't really tell. 

The lesson: Hatch chiles are friggin' hot, like I never knew. If I were to do this again I'd use maybe half a roasted Hatch chile. The Ancho chiles called for in the recipe would have been a better choice since they are fairly mild. 

I didn't throw out the rest of the pasta, mostly because I'm cheap and hate to waste food. I picked out as many of the chile bits as I could find and will hedge my bets that the leftovers will be edible.

UPDATE The leftovers were pretty good with the chile chunks removed. I'll give this one another shot, next time following the recipe more closely.