Fettuccine with Figs and Chiles
(recipe, American Institute for Cancer Research)
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.
- 8 fresh black Mission figs, rinsed, dried, and stems removed
- 2 lemons
- ½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 12 oz. whole-wheat fettuccine
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 dried chiles (use any medium-heat chile, such as ancho), seeded and finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- A few springs of fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley as a garnish
- 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.
- 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.
- Cook the fettuccine in a large pot of boiling water until just tender.
- 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.
- 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.