Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stinging Nettle Stuffed Ravioli

If you liked stinging nettle Linguine, you are going to LOVE my Stinging Nettle Ravioli Recipe!

Urtica dioica
I ventured out the other day to get the last of the stinging nettle in hopes for a big harvest for drying and freezing. I had 2 HUGE bags, leather gloves, wellies and kitchen snips ready to go and headed out to the nettle trail. Highly disappointing on the amount of harvest-able nettle (for food that is, I heard you can also use the grown for fiber like linen - how cool).

Anyways, the nettle was too high and much of it was severely damaged from the recent trail maintenance (hubby and string trimmer).
Oh well, I had a great time in the great weather teaching my daughter how to harvest nettle and we came back with a decent amount.

This time I took my own advice and harvested by leaf and tip, only carefully picking the best so no dangerous sorting had to be done in kitchen. Great advice! All that was left was a cold water soak, triple rinse and in the pot they went. I did save a bit for the experiment of drying.

Drying nettle (what I did):
Not wanting to heat up the oven for my few leaves, I placed the rinsed leaves in a single layer on a paper towel and placed on the middle rack in the toaster oven. Set to bake at 150 degrees with the door half open, it took about 30 minutes to dry. I crumbled them up (they don't sting anymore) and put in a snack baggie. Now to find ways to use them over the summer.

Our Sufficient harvest
Stinging Nettle Tea: I tried stinging nettle tea. I did not like it at all - and I love teas of all sorts. This tasted like spinach water. If that is what you like - go for it. I will pass.

I got about 1 cup of nettle mush from my harvest and chose to freeze it till i figured out a new recipe.
Freezes great! Just place mush with enough of the nettle water to cover the mush in a freezer container size of your choice and freeze. I chose a small one cup size. This may be too big. Many folks use ice-cube trays and make little convenient ice-cube sized portions - brilliant!

Later that evening it occurred to me to make ravioli.

Here is my ravioli recipe YUM!



Stinging Nettle Ravioli


Ingredients


Filling:

1 14oz container of ricotta cheese
1 cup of shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp course sea salt
1 egg
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup stinging nettle, boiled, squeezed of excess liquid and chopped

Pasta:

3 cups flour (can be semolina but i just used regular unbleached white all-purpose)
3 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

Extras:
  • about 1 cup flour extra for pasta rolling
  • about 1 tsp salt for water boil (optional)
  • 1 egg all mixed up in a bowl for egg wash for sealing the pockets
  • a fancy pasta cutter/sealer for the edges (I just used a roller from my daughter's play dough accessories kit - works great because it is not too sharp so it seals the layer and makes a fancy squiggly design at the same time).

Equipment:
  • large pot for boiling pasta
  • stand mixer for pasta if you don't want to use hands too much
  • rolling pin or if you are so blessed to have a lasagna pasta roller on your stand mixer  - lucky you!
  • pasta strainer

Method:


mix all the pasta ingredients together in the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook (or a large bowl by hand) till a smooth dough ball forms. Depending on the size of your eggs, you may have to add a tiny bit of water if the mix is too dry.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes or so.
While it is resting you can make the filling and get a pot of water on the stove to boil.

In a medium bowl, mix all the filling ingredients together until well mixed.

if rolling pasta by hand:
Divide dough in half and roll out 2 similar sized sheets about the size of a cookie sheet.
on one sheet, paint the top side with the egg wash.
place 1 tbsp of filling, about 1/2 inch from the edge and continue placing balls of filling in straight rows leaving about a 2 inch space between each ball.
Place the 2nd dough sheet on top of the balls . Using the cutter of your choice, cut and seal the space between each row and column to make a ravioli.





if using pasta roller:
make sheets of the lasagna pasta and seal a tablespoon of filling between 2 sheets of pasta.

When water is at boiling place enough ravioli carefully into the pot to leave enough "wiggle room" between the raviolis. Overcrowding the pot created boil over and stuck together and popped open pastas.
I had to do mine in 4 batches. I just transferred the raviolis from the pot to the strainer via slotted spoon.
Fresh pasta only takes 5 minutes to cook.

I served this with Bertolli's 4 cheese rosa sauce and it was a perfect match.
the little toy roller works great


I will again reference the University of Maryland Medical Center for health benefits.

NOTE: My hubby got stung this weekend and says that he felt a slight sting but it was not really painful. It lasted for about a minute or so and then dissolved into a prickly sensation. He described the sensation as similar to a topical analgesic or a product like icy-hot and it lasted for several hours.









Some ads for products you may find useful for making this recipe (and some attachments for the KitchenAid would make lovely gifts. Ahem & wink ;-) :





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3 comments:

  1. it very great for allergies especially for kids, arthritis, BPH, excessive bleeding, hair loss, hypertension, inflammation, prostatitis. This herb is uplifting for a weary body, relieve fatigue and exhaustion. Lovely plant

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    Replies
    1. ah, yes, I have referenced health benefits in the post toward the end. It is also diuretic (it makes you pee ;-). I have experienced this just by eating the pasta! A bit less of an effect with the stuffed ravioli (concentration is less?) Maybe I am more sensitive to the effect 'cause the rest of the family seemed to be unaffected. It is effective on arthritis by topical application. The nettle must be fresh and you would apply the stingers to the arthritic joint. It is supposed to increase blood flow and numb the pain in the area. I HAVE been stung and the sting is not painful but, irritating. Has a tingling sensation. I could see why they use it.

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  2. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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