Spring is the time to use stinging nettles. They make a superb pasta sauce. Do not cover the pan when cooking them-- a little trick so they retain their bright green color.


Recipe Summary

10 mins
30 mins
40 mins
2 servings


Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Toast walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.

  • Wearing dish gloves or disposable gloves, rinse nettles under running water to remove any dust or dirt. Cut off all the thick main stems.

  • Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Drop nettles into the boiling water and cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse immediately under cold water, then drain again. Squeeze nettles gently to remove some of the excess water; they can be a little bit wet. Transfer nettles to a cutting board and chop.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and translucent, without browning, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chopped nettles and cook, stirring, until heated through. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

  • Toss with pasta and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Cook's Notes:

You can also use vermicelli instead of spaghetti.

If you have it, a lemon-flavored extra-virgin olive oil is nice to toss with the cooked nettles.

Nutrition Facts

975 calories; protein 28.3g; carbohydrates 121.3g; fat 47.5g; cholesterol 4.4mg; sodium 252.7mg. Full Nutrition