Nettle Spaghetti

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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!

Ingredients:

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

nutmeg (optional)

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.

Eaten with:

Chablis and followed by truffled scrambled goose egg and asparagus.

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