Nettle Pesto Pasta with Bacon

By • July 15, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: The key to working with nettles in the kitchen, just like in nature, is to not let them touch your skin. Until they’re blanched, that is, you should handle them with gloves or tongs. Blanching them for just a minute of two takes away their stinging ability, turning them into a rich and zesty green that makes a great pesto base, among other things.Vicky | Things I Made Today


Serves 4

  • 1 pound stinging nettles
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces spaghetti, angel hair, or fettuccine pasta
  • 3-4 pieces bacon, chopped into bite size pieces
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Using tongs or gloves, transfer nettle leaves to water. Boil for 1-2 minutes until wilted. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately. Let cool.
  2. Combine drained nettles, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bring another large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente. When pasta is done cooking, drain and mix with pesto (you may have some extra pesto left over).
  4. In a skillet, brown bacon until slightly crispy. Sprinkle on top of pasta and serve immediately.

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