Pasta with Stinging Nettles

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.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
2 servings


  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

  • 10 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

  • ½ pound fresh stinging nettles

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 (per serving)

975 Calories
48g Fat
121g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 975
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 48g 61%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 253mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 121g 44%
Dietary Fiber 23g 83%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 45mg 223%
Calcium 348mg 27%
Iron 9mg 51%
Potassium 854mg 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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