Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Making Homemade Nettles Pasta

One of my favorite early spring greens is stinging nettles (Urtica dioica.) Ella and I have been making pasta out of nettles since she was four. I believe I originally from another herbal website (possibly Herb Mentor?) but as I search now I cannot find it to link to, so I am sorry that I cannot give you an original source. However, we did change it: we ground buckwheat to use as our flour making the noodles gluten-free.

Let me share our spring ritual with you.
  1. Harvest young stinging nettles. You'll need three cups of chopped fresh nettles (which will steam way down) for the pasta. *When harvesting and chopping fresh nettles, you may want to use gloves to avoid being stung.*
  2. We are gluten free so we like to make our own flour, which we do easily in our high speed blender. Today we ground buckwheat groats into flour and used 2 cups, plus extra for kneading on. Rice flour also works well.
  3. Place steamed nettles and two eggs into a blender and mix.
  4. On a table or in a bowl, make a pile of flour with a well in the middle.
  5. Put the nettle/egg mixture in the well and mix/knead into the flour
  6. If too sticky, add more flour.
  7. Place dough ball under wet cloth and let it "rest" for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut about a fourth of the dough off and roll it out on a floured surfaced as thinly as possible. (If you have a pasta maker by all means use it!) Cover the dough you are not rolling with the wet cloth.
  9. Cut into strips and set aside as you continue to roll and cut all the pasta.
  10. Place the pasta in boiling water and cook about 3 minutes (fresh pasta does not need much time to cook.)
  11. Drain pasta. I returned it to the pot and added some butter, fresh chopped tomatoes and salt while I sauteed the rest of the veggies, which I then mixed in.

In a separate pan in butter, saute 1/2 large onion, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and 1 cup chopped fresh nettles. (You may want to use gloves while chopping the nettles.)

Mix into noodles, add salt to taste and enjoy!

Happy Spring!

~ Melissa