Nettle, Courgette + Lemon Pasta (gf, ve)

Prep: 5 minutesCook: 20 minutesTotal: 25 minutes
Yield: serves 2Category: Dinners
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This light and zesty pasta dish is packed full of fresh flavours and is so, so easy to throw together. It takes less than thirty minutes to make and doesn’t require a great deal of ingredients.

I originally made this as an experiment when I ate stinging nettles for the first time and it turned out really well. I’d recommend this recipe as your gateway into foraging if you were curious about trying nettles as its delicious but very simple.

I know the idea of eating nettles won’t appeal to everyone because they just see them as weeds that sting you when you get too close, however, they are edible and once you take the sting out by either crushing them, (eg with a blender), or cooking them they make a great addition to dishes. Obviously nettles aren’t available in supermarkets but, depending on the area you live in, they’re generally pretty rife. All you need to do is go out and collect some, take a gardening glove and a bag with you so you don’t get stung, and once you get home trim the leaves off the stems before rinsing well in a colander. Discard the stems and use the washed leaves in your dish – just remember not to touch them!

In terms of taste, I would say that nettles most closely resemble spinach so if the thought of eating nettles makes you uncomfortable you could just substitute them for spinach in this instead. You could also add other leafy green vegetables to this dish if they need eating up to help avoid food waste.

Ingredients

metric
imperial
  • 150g uncooked pasta
  • 2 handfuls nettle leaves
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1/ handful fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp dairy free butter
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch black pepper

Method

  1. Place the pasta in a pan and cover with water. Cook in accordance to packet instructions
  2. In the meantime, add one teaspoon of dairy free butter to a large frying pan and melt over a moderate heat
  3. Add the washed and trimmed nettle leaves to the pan and allow to cook for a few minutes
  4. Use a potato peeler or mandolin to slice the courgette into thin ribbons. Add to the pan along with the peeled and finely sliced garlic cloves, stirring occassionally
  5. Chop the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan, taking care to ensure no pips fall in, and season well with salt and pepper and remove from the heat
  6. Once the pasta is cooked, add to the frying pan along with 1/3 cup of the water it cooked in and the second teaspoon of butter. Return to a low heat and stir well for a minute or so
  7. Stir through the freshly chopped basil and parsley along with any additional salt and pepper before serving

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