Nettle Pistou Pasta
Nettles make one super tasty pistou (pesto without nuts). You can substitute the rosemary with garlic if you wish. In early spring, ramps are an excellent substitution for both the onion and rosemary.
1 bunch baby nettles (approx. 4 oz.)
1-2 Tbsp. chopped mild onion
1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried, crushed rosemary
Fettuccini or pasta of your choice (approx.1/2—3/4 lb.)
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
To prepare/cook nettles: Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, wash the nettles and remove thick stems. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the nettles. Boil about 10-15 minutes, or until the leaves are VERY tender. Drain and plunge into ice water. Drain again and press firmly to squeeze out excess water. Cook pasta using pkg. directions.
Saute onion and rosemary in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until onion is soft, but not browned. Gently stir in the cooked nettles. If you’ve used fresh rosemary, discard the stem. Transfer nettle mixture to a food processor or blender, adding 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil -or more- as needed, in order to bring it to the consistency of pasta pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with the warm pasta and sprinkle with parmesan.
Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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