Nettle Pasta

10 04 2009

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.

Raw nettles bristling in the food processor

Raw nettles bristling in the food processor

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.

Add flour(s) to make a soft dough

Add flour(s) to make a soft dough

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and …

Green nettle dough

Green nettle dough

knead, adding flour if necessary, until you have a pliable dough. Rest for 5-10 minutes or more.

Form a ball and rest the dough

Form a ball and rest the dough

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.

Nettle maltagliati

Nettle maltagliati

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.

Nettle pasta with beans

Nettle pasta with beans

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




9 responses

11 04 2009

Interesting. So there are other ways to neutralize the sting other than heat or drying–like pulverizing into mush! This tells me that the nettle needs that prickly hair to deliver the blast of seratonin, histamine, and formic acid. Oh, and he pasta looks lovely! I’ll have to try your recipe.


18 04 2009


I would like to include your recipe in our “Grow Your Own” roundup this month! For information on how to enter, please go to

Aloha, Nate

18 04 2009

Thanks, Nate & Annie!

2 05 2009
Ellen Zachos

So many nettles around here and I’ve been wanting a new way to use them. Thanks so much for the recipe; I’ll try it at a foraged feast I’m planning next weekend.

3 05 2009
Challenges for 2009 « Feasting in the Skagit foodshed

[…] friend Nate of House of Annie asked me to submit my nettle pasta post to the Grow Your Own Roundup #27 event last […]

4 05 2009

Hope it works for you, Ellen! I’ll keep an eye on your blog for your foraged feast. 🙂

9 05 2009

Now that is amazing. I’ve always avoided nettles because of the prickly factor, but making pasta with them is a great way to use. Thanks for joining us for Grow Your Own in April!

26 05 2009
Growing Challenge Check In #1 « Garden Journal

[…] forest garden. We have a wide array of edibles that grow all on their own such as Urtica dioica (stinging nettles), Claytonia sibirica (Spring Beauty or Miner’s Lettuce), Epilobium angustifolium (fireweed), […]

10 06 2011
“Grow Your Own” Roundup #27 | House of Annie

[…] in the Skagit Foodshed (Washington, USA) bravely foraged for Stinging Nettles to create her Nettle Pasta. (You go, […]

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