Creamy tagliatelli with figs, lemon and rosemary

 

Another vegetarian beauty of a pasta dish. This has the sweetness of the figs, the saltiness of the blue cheese and it’s altogether stunning.

Serves 4
1 lb tagliatelli (or any other sort of pasta you like)
1 oz butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
12 ripe black mission figs, quartered (One fig is nice to keep for a garnish, cutting it into thin slices)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 oz gorgonzola or dolcelatte cheese
3 fl oz heavy cream
2 oz grated parmesan cheese (not the pre-grated stuff)

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook your pasta
Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan, heat the butter and fry the garlic, rosemary and chili for 1 minute. Top and tail the figs, cut them into quarters and place them flesh down in the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn them over and allow them to break down.
Add the lemon zest and season with freshly ground pepper and a little salt (your cheese will also salt the dish, so be careful not to put too much salt in at this point)
Add the cheese to the figs and allow it to melt. Add the cream and simmer gently to reduce, before stirring in half the lemon juice and half of the grated parmesan cheese.
Taste the cream sauce, it will be sweet and rich, hot, sour and salty. The lemon will cut the richness so that it is not too cloying. The blue cheese gives a depth to the flavor. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Strain the pasta and mix in the pasta sauce. Season with lots of black pepper, the remaining lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese.
Garnish with the fig slices.