While passing the lovely farmers market at Union Square, I decided to buy some stinging nettles. With just a handful, I was able to make three different things; pizza, pasta and pesto. In the case of pizza and pesto, I blanched and pureed the nettles first, keeping the flavor and color green but removing some rawness from the taste.
For the pizza, I used three cheeses; comte, parmigiano, and buratto. The nettles gave the pizza a rich fragrance and a deep earthy flavor, not to mention a bit of sting! For the pasta dough, I substituted the nettles for some of the eggs in my formula. It demands a scale; you weigh one of your eggs and then – for however many eggs you want to eliminate – add in a corresponding amount in weight of nettles. After chopping the nettles in a food processor and adding to the pasta dough, I then froze this combination, hoping to use it for an August marriage with late summer ingredients or perhaps just cheese.