This pasta recipe is designed for fresh nettles. You’ll see I use no egg here like some fresh pasta recipes. The reason is because I think it’s an unnecessary ingredient expense when it’s so delicious! And it’s so simple – you don’t need any fancy gadgets or pasta machines!
A Simple, Delicious, and vegan Nettle Pasta
1 hour 30 mins
300g 00 grade pasta flour (or plain flour if all you have!)
A medium sized basket full (around half a carrier bag’s worth) of young nestle tops.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, grab the nettles with tongs or a pair of scissors and put them into the boiling water. Stir around and boil for 1 to 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave them to steep for ten minutes more.
Pour the mixture into a blender and puree.
Run this mixture through a sieve, removing any of the thick stems which may not have whizzed up in the blender. Squeeze out the pulp into the bowl, so you don’t waste a drop!
Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the nettle puree and gradually incorporate it into the flour until you get a shaggy mass. If it’s too stiff add a little more of the nettle water. Start folding the dough over itself until it comes together, then begin kneading. You don’t want to over knead/work the dough – a couple of minutes is plenty.
Cover the dough with a thin film of olive oil and wrap in a beeswax cloth or damp tea towel. Let it sit for an hour minimum (although I like to leave mine overnight to mature the flavour).
Cut off a piece of the dough and roll it out until its really thin on a lightly floured chopping board.
Once you have your sheet of pasta, you can cut it into lengths using a sharpe knife or my favourite tool for making pasta – a pizza roller!
Lay each pasta length/noodle over a rolling pin resting on top of a mixing bowl – or the back on a wooden chair.
Boil in lots of salty water until they float, and then for another minute or two.
Once all noodles have cooked, served with a splash of olive or walnut oil and a generous grating of cheese (I like parmesan – but you could go with a cheddar or vegan cheese).