While I was at the farmer’s market I saw stinging nettles, right then and there I decided to create a fresh pasta dish for dinner. I call this spring in a bowl! It’s very important that you wear gloves while working with unblanched nettles! Besides the sauce given here, a fabulous ragu would be great on the pasta…or even a simple sauce of Proscuitto sauteed in EVO and butter and tossed with Parmigiano.
Makes 2 – 4 First Course Servings
For the pasta:
2 ½ oz. fresh stinging nettles (see below)
1 large egg
7 oz (1 1/3 cups) flour, a combination of 2 oz. semolina and 5 oz. unbleached flour
1 tsp. each EVO & water
Pinch of salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add 1 Tbsp. salt. Blanch the stinging nettles for approximately 1 minute, or until wilted. Drain and let cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze as much liquid as possible from the nettles. Puree in a blender or food processor. The blender seems to do a better job making a puree than does the processor.
Make and roll out the pasta, as per instructions in Food Processor/Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.
When you are ready to cook the pasta bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbsp. or so of salt to the water.
For the sauce:
2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 oz. Proscuitto
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 lb.trimmed asparagus (see below)
¾ cup cup fresh, blanched peas (see below), or frozen peas that are thawed
1 or 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
Warm a serving bowl in a low oven (180 F).
In a large sauté pan heat the EVO over low heat. Add the proscuitto and onions and sauté, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, fresh peas, if using and ¼ cup water; cover and simmer 3-5 minutes until the asparagus is tender but not overcooked (if using frozen peas, add them to the pan 1 minute before the asparagus is done. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.
Add the fresh pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until just shy of al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Bring the vegetable sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Add the pasta to the pan, begin tossing until hot, adding spoonfuls of pasta cooking water if pasta appears to be dry, for approximately 1 minute. Stir in 1 or 2 Tbsp. butter, remove from the heat. Toss the tagliatelle with the Parmigiano until it has coated the pasta. Place in a preheated serving bowl and serve immediately.
Helpful link to Food Processor or Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.
And to Blanching Vegetables. And to Trimming Asparagus.