I came across some stinging nettles the other day and decided to create a pasta for dinner. I call this spring in a bowl! It’s very imporant that you wear gloves while working with the unblanched nettles! Besides the sauce given here, thinking a fabulous ragu would be great on the pasta…or even a simple sauce of proscuitto sauteed in EVOO and butter and tossed with Parmigiano.
For the pasta:
2 ½ oz. fresh stinging nettles **
1 large egg
7 oz (1 1/3 cups) flour, a combination of 2 oz. semolina and 5 oz. unbleached flour
1 tsp. each EVOO & water
Pinch of salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil & 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 & roll out the pasta, as per instructions in Food Processor/Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil & add 1 Tbsp. or so of salt to cook the pasta.
For the sauce:
2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 oz. proscuitto
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 lb.trimmed asparagus**
¾ cup cup fresh, blanched peas** or frozen peas (thawed)
1 or 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
In a large sauté pan heat the EVO over low heat. Add the proscuitto & onions and sauté, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, fresh peas (if using) & ¼ cup water; cover & 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 & freshly ground black pepper & keep warm.
Add the fresh pasta to the pot of boiling water & 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.
To see how to roll out the dough, click Food Processor or Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.
To see how to prepare stinging nettles, click Blanching Vegetables.
To see how to trim asparagus, click Trimming Asparagus.