Nettle Pasta Recipe: How to Make Pasta with Nettles

Nettle Pasta

Nettle Pasta Recipe

Serves 4

Nettles (Urtica dioica) have a delicious nutty flavour that really wows when you make pasta with them. You should never pass up a chance to harvest a bag of nettles when you come across them, since the plant is such a prolific grower. Then you can make big batches of pasta and freeze it to use throughout the year. Pick them in spring when they are young and before they flower. If you cut the plant back, you’ll get a second crop later in the year leaving you with more opportunities to try this pasta dish that combines the earthy notes of nettles with the sharpness of Pecorino cheese, creating a harmonious blend that sings of seasonal freshness. Each forkful is a culinary journey through early spring, promising a dining experience that is both unique and delicious, and can be found in The Coastal Forager’s Cookbook.


1 cup (250 mL) fresh nettle leaves or young shoots of Italian parsley
1½ cups (375 mL) semolina flour
1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
3 eggs
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
½ cup (125 mL) grated pecorino cheese
Cracked black pepper


  1. Place 4 cups (1 L) of cold water in a large bowl.
  2. Boil a pot of water and salt it until it tastes like the sea. Add the fresh nettles and cook for 2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place in the cold water for 10 minutes. Remove the nettles with tongs, fold them into a tea towel, and wring them out, then roughly chop them.
  3. Put the nettles in a blender or food processor fitted with the steel blade, add both the flours, and mix until the nettles are very fine. Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition, and mix until it forms a rough ball.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until it becomes smooth, about 15 minutes, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 20 minutes on your counter.
  5. Break the dough into four sections, and rewrap three of them in the plastic. Form the dough into a flat square shape. Dust with flour and feed into a pasta machine, being sure to step through each thickness setting from 1 to 8. Cut the noodles tagliatelle size, 6 mm wide, either by hand or with your pasta machine. (If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can hand-roll the pasta to 2 mm thick, dust well in flour, roll the dough loosely and cut into noodles.) Repeat with the three remaining pieces of dough, working with one piece at a time.
  6. Bring a big pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh pasta and cook until al dente, 2–4 minutes depending on your preference. Toss in the oil and butter and serve with pecorino and pepper.
  7. Portion out any uncooked pasta into four loose bundles, freeze them on a cookie sheet, and then put them in a sealed bag if you want to save the pasta to cook another day. You can cook it from frozen, but it will take a bit longer to cook.

Recipe by Robin Kort from The Coastal Forager’s Cookbook: Feasting Wild in the Pacific Northwest, copyright © 2023 by Robin Kort.

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