Stinging Nettle Ravioli

I first used stinging nettles for a Wine & Food Ladies Dinner at Stawell in 2007 (I think it was a George Columbaris recipe.) When catering for these events you were given the recipes in advance that they wanted to be served.

I remember how much I enjoyed the challenges of working with an ingredient that I didn't know could be used. That was my first time working with stinging nettles, and to be honest it was my last time working with them… until last weekend.

By using new and interesting ingredients I have access to I can now be creative with my lunches at home, so I created stinging nettle dish No.2 

- Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Sweet Potato, Mushrooms & Goat's Cheese.

My backyard is full of nettles, most of them growing out near the chicken shed. After harvesting a few bunches they were placed in a dehydrator to dry out. Taking away the stinging hairs that cause skin irritation requires blanching or drying of the nettles. Time to get creative!

Most of the leaves were then picked off and added to a blender before incorporating them to the pasta dough. Remaining leaves were kept for a finishing garnish. A quick scan of the refrigerator discovered some sweet potatoes and Meredith's goat cheese that needed to be used. After cooking the potato, I made a smooth mash, added cheese, and sauteed mushrooms, onions, and garlic. This dish was the first course at my second sold-out luncheon at home. The ravioli was served in a burnt butter and lemon sauce and the feedback from the guests was they enjoyed every mouthful.

I am looking forward to seeing what else I can create before the Nettle season ends in the backyard. Minerals and vitamins A & C are abundant in the nettle, making it a highly nutritious food. 

For more information I highly recommend 

‘Eat Weeds’ A Field Guide To Foraging: 
How to identify, harvest and eat and use wild plants 

By Diego Bonetto. 


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