Thank God fig season is back! French author George Blond once quipped the fig was “the manna of the Mediterranean countries.” Especially if we take the dictionary definition literally, ‘Spiritual nourishment of divine origin.’ Figs have been cultivated since the dawn of time. Assyria used figs as a natural sweetener; figs were grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon; they were important to the Phoenician economy; baskets of figs were buried with Egyptian rulers in the great tombs; they were the favorite fruit of the Greeks. Figs first appeared in America in the 1600’s brought over by the Spaniards. They were planted in California and known as Mission Figs. 90 % of USA production is in California. Figs appear with great frequency on our menu at Figue Mediterranean (www.EatFigue.com). One of our more popular fig dishes is our tagliatelli of figs and pancetta.
Tagliatelle al Pancetta e Fichi│ Hand Rolled Tagliatelle, Pancetta, Conserved Figs, EVOO
Chef François de Mélogue
Ingredients for four orders:
400 g Semi Dried Figs, sliced
160 ml Olive Oil
80 ml Balsamic Vinegar
to taste Sea Salt and Black Pepper
5 sprigs Marjoram
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 thick slices Pancetta, diced
2 small Leeks, diced
30 ml White Wine
2 T grated Reggiano Parmesan
Mise en Place:
- Marinate figs in balsamic, olive oil, s/p, marjoram and garlic for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil and sauté pancetta and leeks for eight minutes, or until leeks are soft and pancetta is crunchy.
- Add figs and marinade and white wine.
- Cook tagliatelli.
- Heat sauce.
- Toss together, top with grated parmesan and olive oil.