Nettle Pasta with Fava Beans

nettle_fava_pasta-3
My refrigerator is retarded. Items left on the top shelf spoil because it’s not cool enough up there. Things on either of the bottom two shelves, especially towards the back tend to freeze. I’ve always thought of this as a curse (have you ever seen frozen tofu?), but today it actually ended up working out.

I was digging through the back of the fridge looking for some inspiration and I found a ziplock back with a small fistful of boiled stinging nettles. Those of you that remember my foraging expedition might remember the stinging nettles I picked (and never cooked with). Though it’s been almost a month, the little baggie of boiled nettles made it to the back of the fridge where it froze solid allowing me to resurrect it in this pasta today:-)

Honestly the nettles didn’t really add much flavor to the pasta, but it does make it a nice green color. This was my first time using my newest Kitchen Aid attachment (pasta roller) so the pasta didn’t exactly turn out gorgeous, but I’d have to say this was far better (and easier) than the hand crank contraptions I’ve used in the past. The burly motor in the Kitchen Aid makes short work of the rolling process, and because you don’t have to turn a crank, you have both hands free to feed and catch the pasta on the other end.

Nettle pasta going through the Kitchen Aid powered pasta machine

Finished nettle pasta ready to hit the pot.
Finished nettle pasta ready to hit the pot.

I really like to keep pastas very simple highlighting just one or two of the ingredients. In this case I wanted the pasta and fava beans to be the stars since they both take a fare amount of work to prepare. The Pecorino Grand Cru, an aged sheepsmilk cheese gives the fresh pasta some depth and umami while the lemon and pepper brighten it up. Fava beans, when lightly boiled and shelled have a texture a bit like edamame, but they are much sweeter and have a flavor similar to peas.

For pasta
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 cup boiled, squeezed and pureed stinging nettle
2 large eggs

To serve
1 C lightly boiled and shelled fava beans
2 Tbs EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 C grated Pecorino Grand Cru (or other hard Italian cheese)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
zest of half a lemon

Put the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the flour and add the nettles and egg. Run the mixer at medium low speed until it more or less comes together.

You may need to add a little water, but go slow. Add a tsp of water then let it run for a minute before you decide to add more water. Once it’s all combined, turn up the speed to medium and let the dough hook work its kneading magic. Take the ball of dough and wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 20 minutes. This helps in the formation of gluten that will give your pasta a nice firm texture.

Run the pasta through your pasta machine following the machines directions then cut it in whatever shape you like. Make sure you dust the newly minted pasta with ample amounts of flour, otherwise it will stick together.

For the fava beans, shell the fava beans from the pods then boil a pot of well salted water dumping the beans in and cooking for about a minute. Drain the beans then shell again removing the pale green membrane on the outside of each bean.

Boil a large pot of well salted water then add the pasta making sure it doesn’t stick together. Boil for 2-3 minutes testing for a texture that pleases you. I like mine al dente.

Drain the pasta and toss with the shelled fava beans, olive oil, lemon zest, cheese and pepper.

Serve immediately. I like to have this with a grilled spicy sausage like chorizo or andouille, but it makes a fine meal on its own if you are of the veggie persuasion.

  • http://www.justgetfloury.blogspot.com/ Ginny

    Nettles? I would never think to make this! I love the green color…very springy! Fava beans are one of my favorite vegetables! Looks great!

  • http://www.justgetfloury.blogspot.com/ Ginny

    Nettles? I would never think to make this! I love the green color…very springy! Fava beans are one of my favorite vegetables! Looks great!

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    Nettles pwn my skin, but that still looks amazing. I know a place where I can pick some nettles within a ten minute walk of my house.

    Marc, re: your question of eateries, email me. My addy is on my br0g. I put links to my two faves (Beast and Simpatica) on my sidebar, but depending on your tastes and budget I can probably steer you in a few other directions as well.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    Nettles pwn my skin, but that still looks amazing. I know a place where I can pick some nettles within a ten minute walk of my house.

    Marc, re: your question of eateries, email me. My addy is on my br0g. I put links to my two faves (Beast and Simpatica) on my sidebar, but depending on your tastes and budget I can probably steer you in a few other directions as well.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    This looks so colourful and fresh….love the green in this.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    This looks so colourful and fresh….love the green in this.

  • http://canarygirl.com/ canarygirl

    Oh my good gracious, this looks amazing. Love, love LOVE fresh favas. And what the heck is the deal with retarded refrigerators? Mine has similar issues…anything that touches the back wall freezes solid, and yet, the beers are never cold enough. WTF? lol :)

  • http://canarygirl.com canarygirl

    Oh my good gracious, this looks amazing. Love, love LOVE fresh favas. And what the heck is the deal with retarded refrigerators? Mine has similar issues…anything that touches the back wall freezes solid, and yet, the beers are never cold enough. WTF? lol :)

  • http://palachinka.blogspot.com/ Marija

    I have stinging nettle growing in my country house garden and I’m always looking for new recipes to use it. Thank you for the recipe!

  • http://palachinka.blogspot.com/ Marija

    I have stinging nettle growing in my country house garden and I’m always looking for new recipes to use it. Thank you for the recipe!

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    poor you about the freezer. might be time to get a new one! jokes. mine’s pretty bad. someone coke can exploded in there so there’s frozen coke crap everywhere. and a broken bottle of champagne on my shelf too. so don’t worry, your freezer ain’t too bad yet ;)

    the pasta looks wicked! i love the colour. and the sausage looks like a winner too – cooked to glorious golden brown perfection.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    poor you about the freezer. might be time to get a new one! jokes. mine’s pretty bad. someone coke can exploded in there so there’s frozen coke crap everywhere. and a broken bottle of champagne on my shelf too. so don’t worry, your freezer ain’t too bad yet ;)

    the pasta looks wicked! i love the colour. and the sausage looks like a winner too – cooked to glorious golden brown perfection.

  • http://www.technicolorkitcheninenglish.blogspot.com/ Patricia Scarpin

    Oh, I love homemade pasta so much. And I’m sorry for your refrigerator – I had a hard time with mine, too, and it was brand new back then (I’d been married for 2 months only!)

  • http://www.technicolorkitcheninenglish.blogspot.com Patricia Scarpin

    Oh, I love homemade pasta so much. And I’m sorry for your refrigerator – I had a hard time with mine, too, and it was brand new back then (I’d been married for 2 months only!)

  • http://www.ravingrecipes.com/ Shannon

    The pictures are so colorful and inviting. I can’t wait to try this delicious recipe myself. I’m very sorry to hear about the fridge, but luckily it all worked out for this delicious dish! This is my first visit to your site and I was referred by elise at simply recipes. I am glad I found this site. Very nice blog!

  • http://www.ravingrecipes.com Shannon

    The pictures are so colorful and inviting. I can’t wait to try this delicious recipe myself. I’m very sorry to hear about the fridge, but luckily it all worked out for this delicious dish! This is my first visit to your site and I was referred by elise at simply recipes. I am glad I found this site. Very nice blog!

  • http://foodmakesmehappy.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Maybe I should buy a pasta machine!

  • http://foodmakesmehappy.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Maybe I should buy a pasta machine!

  • http://blog.sketchyskitchen.com/ sketchy

    The KA pasta attachments get easier to use once you have used them a few times. I’ve had separation issues with a few pasta recipes. If you can base the recipes off the KA book, then start altering/adding ingredients that should improve your luck.

    I recommend making a few word for word. If it’s too sticky, or not the right density, things start to get mucked up.

  • http://blog.sketchyskitchen.com sketchy

    The KA pasta attachments get easier to use once you have used them a few times. I’ve had separation issues with a few pasta recipes. If you can base the recipes off the KA book, then start altering/adding ingredients that should improve your luck.

    I recommend making a few word for word. If it’s too sticky, or not the right density, things start to get mucked up.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    Oh hello, this looks absolutely fabulous! The color is amazing.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    Oh hello, this looks absolutely fabulous! The color is amazing.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ We Are Never Full

    It took me a few mintues to realize that “nettle pasta’ was (DOH!) about adding the nettles to the pasta DOUGH and not a shape I had never heard of! another moment of silence for the Kitchen Aid attachments. it has changed my life.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com We Are Never Full

    It took me a few mintues to realize that “nettle pasta’ was (DOH!) about adding the nettles to the pasta DOUGH and not a shape I had never heard of! another moment of silence for the Kitchen Aid attachments. it has changed my life.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    The green pasta looks great! I have never had stinging nettle but it sounds interesting. My fridge does the same thing. It is annoying when it freezes something that does not freeze well.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    The green pasta looks great! I have never had stinging nettle but it sounds interesting. My fridge does the same thing. It is annoying when it freezes something that does not freeze well.

  • http://whatdidyoueat.typepad.com/ sher

    Oh, Oh..that’s just the best looking thing I’ve seen all week. I adore fava beans and everything about that picture is perfect. Sigh….favas.

  • http://whatdidyoueat.typepad.com sher

    Oh, Oh..that’s just the best looking thing I’ve seen all week. I adore fava beans and everything about that picture is perfect. Sigh….favas.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    It sounds like your fridge is related to mine :) frozen in some places, warm in others…that pasta looks fantastic. I guess if you wanted a green colour you could use spinach but nettle sounds quite flash!! The fava beans sound delish too.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    It sounds like your fridge is related to mine :) frozen in some places, warm in others…that pasta looks fantastic. I guess if you wanted a green colour you could use spinach but nettle sounds quite flash!! The fava beans sound delish too.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05752371044060690705 cakewardrobe

    cool!! I want one now!! Beautiful color pasta!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05752371044060690705 cakewardrobe

    cool!! I want one now!! Beautiful color pasta!!

  • http://www.parsnipsaplenty.com/ Lauren @ Parsnips Aplenty

    Glad to see you used up the nettles! And frozen tofu = fab.

  • http://www.parsnipsaplenty.com/ Lauren @ Parsnips Aplenty

    Glad to see you used up the nettles! And frozen tofu = fab.

  • http://www.tartelette.blogspot.com/ Tartelette

    Frozen tofu…ewwww! First thing I learned about tofu!!
    Love the pasta dish and the color with the beans!

  • http://www.tartelette.blogspot.com Tartelette

    Frozen tofu…ewwww! First thing I learned about tofu!!
    Love the pasta dish and the color with the beans!

  • http://www.vsu.edu/ Kipkoriony Rutto

    The stuff looks excellent. I am writing a proposal on nettle cultivation and I would like your permission to include a picture of your pasta in an appendix of nettle products.

  • http://www.vsu.edu/ Kipkoriony Rutto

    The stuff looks excellent. I am writing a proposal on nettle cultivation and I would like your permission to include a picture of your pasta in an appendix of nettle products.

  • http://pithyandcleaver.com/ maggie (p&c)

    This is so. gorgeous. So. very. Gorgeous. I am jealous of the colors in your meals.

  • http://pithyandcleaver.com maggie (p&c)

    This is so. gorgeous. So. very. Gorgeous. I am jealous of the colors in your meals.

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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