Nettles sometimes get a bad reputation because the stinging hairs that we’ve probably all been victim of. Therefore, it’s understandable when some gardeners want to keep them in check. This recipe for nettle pasta will ensure you make the most out of this plant.
Not only can they be used in food for us, but they are a valuable food source and habitat for butterflies like the peacock, small tortoiseshell and red admiral from their flowers that bloom in spring.
This plant can also be used to make a nitrogen rich fertiliser, commonly called ‘nettle tea’.
Nettles have been used since ancient times as a medicine to treat muscle pain and arthritis.
When harvesting leaves, the tips are the best because they are the most tender and have the best flavour. However, be sure to wear gloves to protect your skin from stinging. Once the nettle has been dried, freeze dried or cooked, they’re safe to eat.
It’s been said to reduce inflammation and also offers a variety of vitamins and minerals including A, C, K, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Nettle pasta recipe card
Surprisingly tasty, nettles can be used in the same way as spinach, to make tea, soup, or even a homemade pesto.
Making your own pasta from scratch is such a rewarding experience, and for the delicious reward at the end of it, it doesn’t even take up a lot of time.
You’ll have to make this more than once to try it with different sauces. Eating it with butter and parmesan for a fresh and delicious meal. Then, make it again to eat with a ragu or pomodoro sauce.
Nettles have many uses, so don’t write them off just yet as a weed. They can be used to make nitrogen rich fertiliser and in the kitchen for nettle pasta that’s sure to go down a treat with the whole family.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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