© 2010 Green Kitchen Stories fig_walnut_spaghetti

Fig & Walnut Spaghetti

We have moved a couple of blocks. It turned out that living with a lousy kitchen was too hard for us. So now we are spending our last week in San Francisco in the Castro district. With a real kitchen to cook in and a small garden to eat in. It’s perfect! And we immediately started cooking.

We haven’t posted many pasta recipes on this blog. It’s simply because we rarely eat pasta at home. But when we do, we try to use a good whole wheat or gluten free pasta (Doves Farm is one of our gluten free favorites).

This recipe started with this bag of black mission figs that we spotted in the Bi Rite Market on 18th street. The figs looked so perfectly soft and ripe that we almost expected them to burst as we were looking at them. We immediately started fantasizing what we could do with them. And as we were walking around inside the food store, we came up with a pasta dish with roasted walnuts and goat cheese, a squeeze of a lemon, spinach, garlic and some white wine. It sounds good, right? We bought all the ingredients and rushed home to make this pasta while it was still fresh in our heads.

We started cooking. Put the water to a boil, roasted the walnuts, tasted the wine while looking for the bag of figs … the bag of figs … the bag of figs! Oh no, as we had been walking around dreaming about this fig pasta, we had forgotten to buy the figs that started it all.

So we had to prepare the dish as we had imagined it, but without the figs. And as we were eating it we were constantly closing our eyes, imaging the taste of those soft and sweet mission figs.

The day after we went back to the store, bought the figs and made the same dish all over again. And this time we didn’t have to imagine anything.

Fig & Walnut Spaghetti
Serves 2

whole wheat spaghetti, for 2 persons
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 small lemon, juice and zest
1 big bunch of fresh spinach
125 g goat cheese
100 g walnut halves, roasted with salt in a dry pan or in the oven

5 fresh ripe figs, cut in quarters

Boil the spaghetti al dente, according to the instructions on the package, and set aside when done. Add olive oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and let it sweat for about 30 seconds before adding 2/3 of the wine and the lemon juice. Stir around, add spinach and goat cheese while stirring (save a small piece of the goat cheese for later). Let it simmer for three minutes before adding the spaghetti and the roasted walnuts. Stir for 30 seconds, taste it and add salt if needed, make sure that the spaghetti is covered in the goat cheese/wine/lemon cream then turn off the heat. Add the figs and gently fold them into the pasta. Serve on a big plate or in a bowl with the rest of the goat cheese and lemon peel sprinkled over it.


  1. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 08:58 | #

    :-D That has happened to me too, forgetting the main ingredient or the ingredient you’ve had in your mind the most! And what a wonderful dish this is, I love it!

  2. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 10:17 | #

    Those are some gorgeous looking figs. I love how your recipes are often surprising yet simple and easy to approach. And of course, your food styling and photographing always makes everything look absolutely irresistible!

  3. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 11:01 | #

    this looks and sounds sooo delicious.. I love it!

  4. Valeria
    Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 11:26 | #

    Those figs are so beautiful! Wish we had black figs here, do you think it would work with the green ones?

    • Posted 28 Oct ’10 at 06:49 | #

      Hi Valeria, I am sure it will work with green figs. If they aren’t as ripe as ours you can just toss them in the pasta a bit earlier and they will become softer and sweeter.
      Good luck!

      • Valeria
        Posted 6 Nov ’10 at 00:12 | #

        I’ll let you know how it turned out

  5. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 12:03 | #

    Wow, SF, living in Castro – for me it sounds like living the dream. The best place I ever visited was San Fran, I sure hope I can return some day. Did you have the amazing burritos in the Mexican part of town yet? :)

    • Posted 28 Oct ’10 at 06:52 | #

      Oh yes we have, many times!
      I could live on all the mexican food down in the mission district!

  6. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 12:54 | #

    Oh how yummy is this! I adore fresh figs. The rest looks nice too tho, so I’m sure it was enjoyable the first time around too ;)

  7. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 13:06 | #

    Figs are a magical thing and this pairing makes perfect sense. I’m trying my best not to drool while looking at these wonderful pictures. What a fantastic post!

  8. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 16:34 | #

    Easy, healthy and very comforting dish. Love it! I think I’m gonna make it tomorrow evening when my friend comes home from Holland and will visit me.

  9. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 19:03 | #

    I love everything about this pasta dish! Beautiful photos too!

  10. Posted 27 Oct ’10 at 22:51 | #

    That is a funny story, but I am glad you finally got to enjoy with the figs! Looks fabulous! My regular market never has figs, but I will have to hunt some down.

  11. Posted 28 Oct ’10 at 01:07 | #

    Oh wow, I think you may have created the perfect non-sauce spaghetti dish I have ever seen! I love figs with goat cheese, and never thought to mix it in with pasta. Looks like a beautiful healthy dish, and I can’t wait to try it. Great idea!

  12. Posted 28 Oct ’10 at 14:51 | #

    Figs in pasta, great idea to make summer last!

  13. Posted 29 Oct ’10 at 18:10 | #

    Hum… look very good!

  14. Jane
    Posted 29 Oct ’10 at 20:50 | #

    That recipe sounds and looks wonderful! Once I made tuna casserole and forgot to put the tuna in it! I’m glad to say that my cooking has come a long way since then. Good luck with your travels.

  15. Posted 30 Oct ’10 at 07:44 | #

    Oh my gosh I love figs- this combination vegan style sounds like I might have to give it a try! I might interchange the cheese with a cashew cheese perhaps. Sounds like the 3 of you are having such an enjoyable time together. Savour, Savour! We had only one child for 10 years, so simple and transportable. He’s now 18 and we now have 3 kids- time flies and suddenly you are 5! We still savour every minute but we mobilize a lot slower! Love seeing your journey unfold:)

  16. Posted 30 Oct ’10 at 22:25 | #

    Mmmmmm or as the French say “miam miam” – looks delectable! So simple, but elegant. I plan to head to the sunday organic market and make this tomorrow, especially with the best goat cheese on the planet, may I add – you’ll have to come to Paris and try it sometime ok? LOVE your site – très bien! Thanks for sharing your fabulous recipes and postcards of your lives!


  17. Posted 31 Oct ’10 at 17:01 | #

    This looks JUST AMAZING. I hope your beautiful family has enjoyed San Francisco. Where are you off to next? Your blog continues to be one of my favorites!!

    • Posted 2 Nov ’10 at 17:24 | #

      Thank you Sarah! It means a lot to us!!

      San Fran was amazing! We have rented a car and are driving down on highway 1 for a couple of weeks. Right now we are are in Santa Cruz!

  18. Posted 2 Nov ’10 at 05:25 | #

    This is honestly the most beautiful pasta dish I’ve ever seen. I’m not a big pasta fan, but with flavors like fig and walnut, I’d be more than happy to indulge

  19. Carol
    Posted 2 Nov ’10 at 15:59 | #

    Love your blog! That pasta looks amazing. How are you finding your SF apartments? Did you use a specific website or agency? I am planning a week there at the holidays with my family. Enjoy!

    • Posted 2 Nov ’10 at 17:16 | #

      Hi Carol!
      Thank you :)

      We are using airbnb and have had good experiences with them in Copenhagen, NYC and SF. Have fun with your family, it is an amazing city!

  20. Gail
    Posted 10 Nov ’10 at 06:43 | #

    that fig and walnut spaghetti looks great

  21. Posted 15 Nov ’10 at 18:22 | #

    Now this is my kind of spaghetti!!!! I love everyting about it!

  22. Posted 22 Nov ’10 at 08:17 | #


  23. Posted 25 Nov ’10 at 05:14 | #

    This is my kind of pasta – mmmm!

  24. Posted 8 Dec ’10 at 16:24 | #

    Such an innovative use of figs! I am in love.

  25. Posted 10 Dec ’10 at 20:27 | #

    THOSE FIGS ARE AMAZING! We never see figs like that over here in Minnesota. Those kinds of figs you only find in places where they are grown! And I love the look of this pasta…

  26. Posted 2 Jan ’11 at 15:50 | #
  27. Yashika
    Posted 9 Jan ’11 at 03:13 | #

    I tried this beautiful pasta with regular figs and oh my, the flavours are amazing! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! Can’t wait to eat it again…

  28. Posted 10 Apr ’11 at 14:34 | #

    I picked some kale and fig up at the market on Saturday and had to give this a try. Wow – I am so glad that I did! I felt like I was eating at some extravagant restaurant and the best bit is that it was oh so easy to make. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes and for your enthusiasm. My boyfriend will be making the hazelnut and mushroom loaf tomorrow and I am looking forward to trying it!

  29. Levina
    Posted 28 Jun ’11 at 18:50 | #

    Delicious recipe, thank you for sharing! I knew I wouldn’t be able to find any figs, so I used nectarines instead, which worked well. I substituted mozzarella for regular goat cheese as I don’t like the strong taste. Next time I’ll chop the walnuts first, to spread it more evenly.

    My parents and I loved it’s special taste, it’s a big winner! Especially on hot summer days.

  30. Posted 7 Nov ’12 at 20:32 | #

    I could not get mine to look nearly as beautiful as yours, but it was delicious!

  31. sandy
    Posted 17 May ’13 at 03:12 | #

    I absolutely love figs, not to mention goat cheese and walnuts! This dish is on the menu tomorrow night. I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

  32. Kaitlin
    Posted 28 Aug ’13 at 01:14 | #

    Question! Do you mince the garlic or leave it whole? Thanks!

  33. Jenny
    Posted 1 Apr ’14 at 22:14 | #

    Thank you for a very inspiring blog – even vegetarians need inspiration sometimes.
    This recipe I know I will love, and since I have family in California and have spent a lot of time there I too can imagine the figs in my mouth. Problem is, how do I find good fresh figs in Stockholm?? They are always so tart and almost shrivelled.. Since you know where to find good food I thought I’d ask. :)

  34. Junia
    Posted 8 Apr ’14 at 14:27 | #

    Hi, Thank you for the amazing recipe. I’ve tried and it’s great! Do you believe it would be possible to have the salsa in a lasagna? If yes, do you think it could be prepared one day before baking?

  35. Junia
    Posted 8 Apr ’14 at 14:28 | #

    Correction: I meant sauce, not salsa :)

  36. anonymous
    Posted 3 May ’14 at 00:46 | #

    this sounds absolutely fantastic! I’m going to make this tomorrow as I have some figs I’ve been wondering how to use rather than eating straight.

    I don’t like goat cheese though (I know I know, I’m one of those rare people)……would you have another cheese suggestion? I was thinking maybe queso fresco? Do you think that would work?

  37. Julie
    Posted 5 Aug ’14 at 05:50 | #

    This was quite good! I didn’t salt it quite enough, so I’ll make sure to add more to my leftovers for tomorrow.

    A note about the recipe: You didn’t mention what to do with the garlic (I used my garlic press to plop it into the hot oil) or the rest of the 1 cup white wine (I poured it over the spinach as it was cooking).

  38. Christine
    Posted 5 Aug ’14 at 20:54 | #

    What kind of wine did you use?

  39. Anna
    Posted 27 Aug ’14 at 17:52 | #

    I just made this recipe last night after finding fresh figs at the store. I have to say that this is my favorite dish that I’ve made of yours (and I’ve made quite a few). The combination of flavors was outstanding! Sweet, salty, savory–all in one bite.

  40. John Belshaw
    Posted 17 Jul ’15 at 05:05 | #

    What happens to the last third-cup of white wine? The obvious thing to do with it is drink it, but I imagine you had some higher purpose in mind….

  41. Posted 9 Jan ’16 at 20:47 | #

    We tried this recipe tonight. Though we exchanged the figs with pears! It was lovely! (Even made the pasta ourselves).
    We will do it again with figs for sure.
    Love how simple it is to make – yet something special to the normal pasta dishes we have!


  42. asiya
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 17:58 | #

    any substitute for the wine you would suggest?

  43. asiya
    Posted 4 Nov ’16 at 19:15 | #

    Just made this for lunch. Was delicious! I love the toasted walnuts on top. It gave the dish a special touch

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