Sunday, March 25, 2012

Handmade Fresh Stinging Nettle Pasta

Fresh nettle linguine with butter , asiago and feta
Oh yes! Stinging Nettle Pasta.

Stinging Nettles. I really don't like these things. They grow really tall and threaten to sting me while picking blackberries or walking through my forest.
There is a HUGE area of them that cover almost half of the lower east side of our property (about an acre).
We were told the only remedy is broad spectrum herbicide or cutting before they go to seed. Since we are not fans of herbicideing an acre of natural Pacific Northwest Forest, we opted to wait till late spring to cut them down before seeding. Hopefully this repeated process will deter them over time.

It is officially SPRING! Nettles are now popping up everywhere over on the east side. I decided to get my revenge...
Rose gloves for protection

Nettles are edible. Oh yes, and apparently good for you. Go figure.

I geared up with a large metal mixing bowl, rose gloves with nitrile gloves under just in case and a pair of kitchen scissors.
I went out into the forest and cut me some nettle.

fresh cut nettle click pic to make bigger and see stingers
I read on several sites that the stems and leaves can be used at this young sprout age. I cut about the top 4 inches which was most of the plant.

I took them in and covered with water, drained and covered with water again.

Using a oriental style webbed scooper, I transferred them from the bowl into the boiling pot of water.

I ditched the water half way and started with fresh because the water was so dark green!

boiled nettle tips and leaves
After boiling the plants for at least 5 minutes, I put them in the strainer and rinsed.

Then I removed the leaves and tips by hand. I was going to use the whole stem, which may have been OK for saute but I was making pasta and wanted it smooth.

Next time I will just be picky and harvest the tips and leaves so I wont have to go through them after blanching.
nettle mush

I chopped 'em all up in the food processor with a little water. Next time may use olive oil instead.

It measured out a little over a cup.

nettle pasta dough
Used 3 tiny fresh eggs from my birdie Nutmeg and about 3 cups of flour and a large pinch of salt along with the nettle pure' to make the dough. 

Kneaded it and let it rest for a few hours under plastic.

tried the flat cut method

Rolled it out by hand with my trusty french pin and cut by hand.
Next time I will roll a tad thinner depending on the style pasta I am making.

I like the roll and cut method
Delish. Flavor is just like fresh spinach pasta.

I am blessed to live on a property so rich in natural wild food.

This is not something that i will make regularly because of the extra care I have to take when harvesting
 But, I think if you have the plant growing wild on your land, it is worth a go.

 I also read on many permaculture sites not to harvest and use nettle leaves if the plant is higher than a foot tall.

I used the following sites for reference and research before preparing this dish.
University of Wisconsin LaCrosse
University of Maryland Medical Center
University of California


  1. Wow! I'm thinking this is a wonderful use of nettle! I've heard of nettle soup, but this looks REALLY good!

  2. Fabulous! I just harvested nettle myself yesterday for tea and dehydrating. I can't wait to try this recipe out!

    (living in Kitsap, where the greens grow well :)

    1. Thank you and Enjoy! I tried the tea and it was not my thing. I have a new recipe for stuffed ravioli on the blog as well if you want something a little more complicated (you can find it on the edibles page). Very good! At least I think so.:-

  3. Yes, it was good! I went out again today to harvest some more and try my hand at dehydrating. I needed to go out sooner because most have gotten a bit too tall. I may try freezing (like one would for spinach) and storing in freezer.

  4. Based on my first life lesson with nettles, I am thinking the first person that was ever brave enough to cook and eat them certainly deserved a medal. I would have been terrified to try them if no one had blazed the trail before me.

    1. Thanks. It is a chance to "bite them back" ;-) LOL

  5. I love nettles and just made soup from a ton of them, cooked once for a minute and changed water then let them cook for about five-ten, poured some Oatly organic cream salt and pepper and what a hearty soup packed with vitamins and minerals!

  6. Oh yeah freezing is good and juicing them works fine, a little stingy but not bad... Love


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