Pasta with figs, goat cheese and pine nuts is the perfect starter or light entree to enjoy in front of the fire on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. This dish has the freshness of summer yet is robust enough to satisfy during these cooler months too.
Awwh, the forgotten fig! I look at these delicious gems each week at the market but seldom buy them. I’ve decided in the new year to explore more with the fruits and veggies that sometimes take a little more thought but are always exciting to add to a dish.
The fig fruit is low in calories. 100 g fresh fruits carry only 74 calories. However, they contain health benefiting soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment antioxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness. Their antioxidant value is comparable to that of apples!
I love this recipe because of its textures and complimentary flavors. The lemon and olive oil dressing is so light and the unique flavor of the sweet fig is perfect with the chewy lusciousness of the flesh. Adding some toasted pine nuts gives it some crunch and I mixed up the greens using baby spinach, arugula and basil.
If you’re spending Valentine’s in front of the fire with your loved one, this is the perfect meal to enjoy with a nice chardonnay but it will also make a beautiful starter to any dinner party.
And of course, I’ve used my favorite Chickapea Pasta to ensure I’m getting the best flavor, texture and nutrients. If you haven’t tasted it yet, check out their site to order and find a location near you. Don’t forget to visit the recipe page – my blogger friends and I have created lots of delicious recipes there for you.
I added pancetta the second time I made it and the saltiness was the perfect addition. This dish couldn’t be easier and if you haven’t tried figs yet or are wondering how to incorporate them in your meals, this is a great starting point!
Some more of my favorite pasta salads with Chickapea Pasta:
- BLT Chickpea Pasta Salad
- Pasta Winter Slaw with Spicy Korean Dressing
- Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Spinach and Cranberries
Do you cook with figs? Share your ideas with me on Instagram so I can see what you’re up to in your kitchen! Just tag @simplyfreshdinners and #simplyfreshdinners.
This post was sponsored by Chickapea Pasta but my opinions of this fabulous pasta are all my own.
Pasta with Figs, Goat Cheese & Pine Nuts
- 8 ounces Chickapea Pasta penne
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 10-12 figs, halved or quartered
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups Mixed greens - arugula, spinach, and basil
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 8 slices pancetta (optional)
Cook Chickapea Pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse.
Toast pinenuts. Heat a pan over medium heat for a couple minutes and add the pinenuts.don’t need anything else, no oil, no salt, no pepper
Allow the pinenuts to toast for 30 – 45 seconds, and then toss them in the pan
Let them go another 30 seconds or so, and then toss again
Repeat this process until you start seeing them just brown, then remove them let them cool
Be careful, not to burn them. They can go from nicely browned to burnt, very quickly, so I suggest you stick around, rather than walking away for a couple minutes
If adding pancetta: pan-fry pancetta, place thin slices or cubes of pancetta in a frying pan without oil. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes per side until browned and crispy. Drain the pancetta on paper towels to remove excess grease.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, and salt and pepper.
Add pasta to bowl, mixing well to coat the pasta. Add greens and toss.
Divide pasta and greens mixture on individual plates, topping with goat cheese, pine nuts and pancetta (if desired). Serve immediately.