Nettles are abundant as usual this year and I’m trying to find new ways to enjoy them besides the usual sautés. Last month a spinach lasagne meme hit the food blogs and some participants’ “mistakes” inspired me to make nettle pasta. The error in question was a misreading of the typical spinach pasta recipe which calls for steaming the fresh spinach. Those that missed that particular instruction had good results despite using raw spinach in their doughs. This was good news to me since I’m looking for new ways to use nettles without steaming them first.
Of course they’re still prickly so some special treatment is required. First I rinsed the nettles and dried them with a tea towel. Then I carefully placed them into my food processor using tongs. I splashed on about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a half teaspoon of salt, and 4 eggs. (This would be a good time to add in other herbs and spices if desired. I was going for plain the first go round.) Process until creamy.
Next I added in the flour. I poured in about half a cup or so of semolina flour and the rest was bread flour. You could use whole wheat as well. Add enough flour and pulse until a soft dough forms. It was a couple of cups worth in the end.
Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and …
knead, adding flour if necessary, until you have a pliable dough. Rest for 5-10 minutes or more.
I rolled it out with my pasta maker, but then just made rough cut squares since that’s what was requested by my rolling assistant.
I cooked them for about 3 minutes or so and served them with a quick vegetarian cannellini sauce. The nettle pasta was wonderfully flavorful without any trace of the “earthiness” that nettles sometimes have. I was also happy to be able to cook them only once and avoid washing all the nutrients away in the steaming water.
I’ll do it again although I’ll make sure to have a bit of bacon or pancetta on hand for the sauce.
This post participated in the “Grow Your Own” Roundup #27 hosted by House of Annie