Fettuccine with Figs and Chiles

(recipe, American Institute for Cancer Research)

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In this dish, a rich, mellow sauce brings together fresh figs with whole-wheat fettuccine. The figs add an earthy sweetness, while lemon and chiles give this sweetness an exciting edge. It takes strong flavor to bring out the best in whole-wheat pasta, and this exquisite sauce does the job.


  1. 8 fresh black Mission figs, rinsed, dried, and stems removed
  2. 2 lemons
  3. ½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
  4. 12 oz. whole-wheat fettuccine
  5. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  6. 2 dried chiles (use any medium-heat chile, such as ancho), seeded and finely chopped
  7. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  8. ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  9. A few springs of fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley as a garnish


  1. Cut figs in quarters or eighths, depending on size. (You'll have about 10 to 12 cups, depending on the size of the figs.) Place figs cut-side up on a plate.
  2. Grate the zest of both lemons and squeeze the juice of one lemon. Stir the lemon zest and juice into the yogurt and set it aside.
  3. Cook the fettuccine in a large pot of boiling water until just tender.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the figs and chile pieces and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  5. Drain the fettuccine. Return to pot. Stir in the lemon and yogurt mixture and the Parmesan cheese. Transfer pasta to a serving platter and spoon the fig-and-chile mixture over the top. Garnish with the sprigs of mint or parsley and serve immediately.