Sunday, April 10

Tongue Tingling Pasta ~ Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Butter & Sage

Stinging nettle or ortica
Eat your weeds!
 We like to eat wild out here in Italy & by that I mean forage for our food. In the spring the fields are full of wild edibles ready to be eaten. (Read our story on Eating Wild: Spring Bitter Greens) Stinging nettle or ortica is perfect for pasta when it is young. Plus its great for you & super high in antioxidants. Remember to use gloves when picking this prickly/stinging plant as even when young & tiny they will get'cha!  Nettles are best when a foot or less off the ground; later in the season you can harvest the tops, but eventually they become too fibrous & woody. Here's a  little fun fact & tip on nettle - I grew up in the Northwest & where nettle grows so do ferns. If you get grazed by those pesky plants as your picking them, rub the underside of a fern plant over the area. Fern plants are a natural remedy for stinging nettle! 

Eating seasonally like this means this dish only comes around for a short while - use the best ingredients and make your dough from scratch! Check out our down & dirty recipe guide to making homemade pasta from scratch.

Stinging Nettle Filled Ravioli Recipe with Butter & Sage
Ravioli d'Ortica

Make your own pasta using our Homemade Pasta Dough or buy fresh sheets of pasta.
Make this filling as your dough is resting.

When nettle is young, clip it, wash 
1 cup cooked nettle (boiled in salted water, drained, squeezed well)
salt in the 1/2 cup of sheep’s milk ricotta (you can try other cheeses you like as well.)
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
squeeze of lemon juice
salt & pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Remember above all: the mixture/filling must not be wet -with a moist filling you will have difficulties closing the ravioli, with too much moisture inbetween the pasta sheets.

To stuff your ravioli ~
  • Roll out a sheet of pasta to about an 1/8 of an inch thickness -the thinner the better.
  • Evenly space out small mounds of filling.
  • Lay another sheet of pasta over the top.
  • With your fingers gently smooth out any air bubbles.
  • Cut out ravioli - either squares with a pizza knife or ravioli cutter or a shot glass for circular ravioli. Most importantly making sure the sides are closed.
Circles or squares you make the choice! We do both - but I've gotta say there is something about the circles I love.

Ravioli with Butter & Sage
  • Once pasta is filled, throw into salted boiling water until they float to the top. Test one.
  • In a pan slowly melt a couple of tablespoons of butter & gently fry a handful of sage leaves for 1 - 2 minutes.
  • Raise the heat, toss in your cooked pasta with a bit of pasta water.
  • Season with salt & pepper & serve.
Ravioli freezes well: place in a single layer on a sheet pan, then transfer into zip lock bag.

Another great article on cooking with nettle is found here How to Cook Stinging Nettle on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook 
Cooking Class at La Tavola Marche
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