Inspired by an image of nettle Tagliarini with dock leaves posted by Tim Siadatan, chef and co-owner at Trullo (an Italian restaurant in London that I desperately want to visit), I made this.
At Trullo, they garnished their pasta with an uncooked egg yolk, which would be broken on the pasta, enriching the green, nettle-coated strands. I would certainly have done the same, had we not been having scrambled goose egg and asparagus afterwards (didn’t want to over-egg it etc..)
Find the tenderest, youngest nettles you can for this and take only the leaves: discard the stalks.
This is a delicately flavoured and savoury dish.
This makes enough for around 3-4 people as part of a meal.
Wearing gloves essential to picking and washing nettles – wear a pair of thick marigolds!
a bag of nettles, leaves selected and washed
pasta : spaghetti or tagliarini or similar – around 75g per person
delicious olive oil
1 clove, garlic, finely chopped
parmesan and / or / 1 egg yolk per bowl
How to make:
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the nettles for around 3 minutes.
Remove and refresh with ice water. Drain and place in a mixing bowl.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil for the pasta and cook.
In a small frying pan, gently sautée the garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil and then add to the nettles. Add 2 or more further tablespoons of olive oil to the nettles and blitz with a blender or chop up as much as you can if you don’t have one, which should be fairly easy with the cooked nettles.
Season with salt and a touch of pepper and a touch of nutmeg (optional).
Add a ladle of pasta water to the mix.
Toss cooked pasta with the bright green nettles and then serve, garnished with the egg yolk and/ or parmesan or similar cheese.
Chablis and followed by truffled scrambled goose egg and asparagus.