Stinging Nettle Fettuccine

Stinging Nettle Fettuccine is a gorgeous way to add color to fettuccine!

Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle

Sometimes foraging happens purely by chance. Yesterday was one of those occasions when my husband and I went for a country walk in our neighborhood and came upon a huge amount of stinging nettle growing in a wooded area. Stinging nettle is not something you want to touch with bare hands, as its name implies. Fortunately it was a chilly day and I had gloves on so my hands were protected. No bag on hand, nor scissors, so I was only able to pick the very tender tips of the stinging nettle, just enough to add to our homemade pasta for lunch to give the pasta a beautiful green color. If I’d had foraging in mind I would have brought along scissors, gardening gloves and a large plastic bag for the stinging nettles. I would’ve then been able to collect enough stinging nettle to make a delicious pot of soup.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettles, or ortica as it’s known in Italy, grow wild all over the Italian countryside in wooded and partially shaded areas. Like most leafy greens stinging nettle is nutritious so it’s a great find to come upon a large amount of it growing in one place.

Make sure you keep gloves on when you wash and trim stinging nettle so that you don’t touch it directly. Cook stinging nettle in a small amount of simmering water, just as you would spinach. As soon as it’s tender and the leaves have wilted, drain the stinging nettle. At this point you can touch it without any risk of stinging your hands because the cooking process removes the stinging property from the leaves.

Be sure to squeeze the liquid out of the stinging nettle before you add it to your pasta dough. Here’s my quick trick for doing this: take an old dishtowel and spread the stinging nettle across the center of the towel lengthwise, then roll up the towel. With one person holding each end of the towel, twist in opposite directions until all the liquid is squeezed out of the stinging nettle. When you unroll the towel you will see that the stinging nettle is now almost bone dry. The next step is to finely minced the stinging nettle before you add it to your pasta.

Stinging Nettle Fettuccine (serves 2 – 3 people)

Ingredients:
30 g stinging nettle leaves, rinsed
Two large eggs
130 g all-purpose flour (or 200 g all-purpose flour if you don’t have semolina flour)
70 g semolina flour

Special Equipment:
Pasta rolling pin
Pasta machine
Dough scraper

Procedure:
Rinse and trim the stinging nettle; only use the leaves and tender tips of the stems.
Simmer the stinging nettle in lightly salted water just until it has fully wilted.
Drain the stinging nettle and squeeze out all the excess liquid until it is almost bone dry.
A quick tip for doing this:
Spread the cooked stinging nettle out across a dishtowel lengthwise.
With one person holding each end of the towel, roll it up in opposite directions, over a sink. Continue twisting until all the liquid is squeezed out of the stinging nettle.
Unroll the towel and place the stinging nettle on a cutting board, then mince until very finely minced.
On a marble or wooden work surface make a mound of the two flours.
Use your fingers to make a well in the flour mixture.
Crack both eggs into the well use a fork to gently whisk the eggs together; gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs.

Making homemde pasta
Add the stinging nettle to the flour and egg mixture and knead the dough for about five minutes until the flour, egg and stinging nettle are fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.

Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle

Pasta dough with ortica

Cover the dough with a damp towel or a plastic bowl and allow to rest, preferably for half an hour.
Divide the dough into two or three pieces and while you work with one piece keep the remaining dough pieces covered.
Knead one piece of the dough for a minute, flatten it and pass it through the pasta maker on the widest setting.
Fold the piece of dough over twice, turn 45º, and put through the widest setting again.
Continue this process of folding the dough, turning it, and running through the widest setting of the pasta machine until the dough is very smooth and the edges are no longer ragged.
The dough should look like this:

Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle

At this stage pass the dough through the next smallest setting.
Pass the dough through each successive setting once until the dough has reached the desired thickness. For fettuccine I usually stop at the next to last setting.
At this point the dough will be a long sheet of pasta. Cut it into two or three sections before cutting it into fettuccine.
Either cut the fettuccine by hand or use the pasta machine.
Note: You can roll out the dough and cut the fettuccine completely by hand instead of using the pasta machine but you’ll need a very long Italian-style rolling pin and a large counter space area or extra wooden board.
Once you’ve cut each piece of pasta into fettuccine make sure you dust it well with flour. Loop the stinging nettle fettuccine around into a circle and place it on a dishtowel to rest while you finish cutting the remaining fettuccine.

Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle
Cook the stinging nettle fettuccine in boiling, salted water until al dente.
The cooking process will be very quick, about 2 to 3 minutes, because the pasta is fresh and full of moisture.
If you plan to cook the fettuccine at a later time you can also dry it on a pasta drying rack.
Serve the stinging nettle fettuccine with whichever sauce you like; this fettuccine was served with a simple tomato sauce.

Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle

Please note that the below printable recipe can be viewed in metric or U.S. conventional measurements; just click on your preference within the recipe.

Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle

Stinging Nettle Fettuccine

Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
Calories: 125 kcal

Serves 2-3 people. 


Luscious homemade stinging nettle fettuccine, made green thanks to the addition of foraged stinging nettle from the Roman countryside. Stinging nettle, known as ortica in Italy, also makes a delicious soup!

Print

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rinse and trim the stinging nettle; only use the leaves and tender tips of the stems.
  2. Simmer the stinging nettle in lightly salted water just until it has fully wilted.
  3. Drain the stinging nettle and squeeze out all the excess liquid until it is almost bone dry.
  4. A quick tip for doing this:
  5. Spread the cooked stinging nettle out across a dishtowel lengthwise.
  6. With one person holding each end of the towel, roll it up in opposite directions, over a sink. Continue twisting until all the liquid is squeezed out of the stinging nettle.
  7. Unroll the towel and place the stinging nettle on a cutting board, then mince until very finely minced.
  8. On a marble or wooden work surface make a mound of the two flours.
  9. Use your fingers to make a well in the flour mixture.
  10. Crack both eggs into the well use a fork to gently whisk the eggs together; gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs.
  11. Add the stinging nettle to the flour and egg mixture and knead the dough for about five minutes until the flour, egg and stinging nettle are fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.
  12. Cover the dough with a damp towel or a plastic bowl and allow to rest, preferably for half an hour.
  13. Divide the dough into two or three pieces and while you work with one piece keep the remaining dough pieces covered.
  14. Knead one piece of the dough for a minute, flatten it and pass it through the pasta maker on the widest setting.
  15. Fold the piece of dough over twice, turn 45º, and put through the widest setting again.
  16. Continue this process of folding the dough, turning it, and running through the widest setting of the pasta machine until the dough is very smooth and the edges are no longer ragged.
  17. The dough should look like this:
    Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle
  18. At this stage pass the dough through the next smallest setting.
  19. Pass the dough through each successive setting once until the dough has reached the desired thickness. For fettuccine I usually stop at the next to last setting.
  20. At this point the dough will be a long sheet of pasta. Cut it into two or three sections before cutting it into fettuccine.
  21. Either cut the fettuccine by hand or use the pasta machine.
  22. Note: You can roll out the dough and cut the fettuccine completely by hand instead of using the pasta machine but you'll need a very long Italian-style rolling pin and a large counter space area or extra wooden board.
  23. Once you've cut piece of pasta into fettuccine make sure you dust it well with flour. Loop the fettuccine around into a circle and place it on a dishtowel to rest while you finish cutting the remaining fettuccine.
    Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle
  24. Cook the fettuccine in boiling, salted water until al dente.
  25. The cooking process will be very quick, about 2 to 3 minutes, because the pasta is fresh and full of moisture.
  26. If you plan to cook the fettuccine at a later time you can also dry it on a pasta drying rack.
  27. Serve the fettuccine with whichever sauce you like; this fettuccine was served with a simple tomato sauce.
    Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle
Nutrition Facts
Stinging Nettle Fettuccine
Amount Per Serving
Calories 125 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 327mg 109%
Sodium 124mg 5%
Potassium 121mg 3%
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 9.5%
Calcium 4.9%
Iron 8.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle

 

 

 

6 Responses to Stinging Nettle Fettuccine
  1. deborah Shayne
    February 5, 2018 | 09:05

    pastamaking…another unexplored country for me! Thanks for this beautifully done addition to your blog.

    • Wendy
      February 5, 2018 | 10:59

      We’ll have to make pasta together Deb; I’ll walk you through it!

  2. Josephine Wennerholm
    February 5, 2018 | 10:16

    What a great idea, dear Wendy. So healthy and so delicious, I’m sure!

    • Wendy
      February 5, 2018 | 11:00

      Pasta-making is such a pleasure, and all the more so with foraged ingredients like ortica!

  3. Speed, Testera
    February 6, 2018 | 05:14

    My gradma was making soup from stinging nettle. Nowadays not so many people use this in the kitchen. So this is great idea to make natural green color on pasta.

    • Wendy
      February 6, 2018 | 13:31

      It makes fabulous soup indeed!

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