Along the Grapevine

Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Sage and Black Garlic Butter

19 Comments

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When I first figure out how to use a wild edible from the garden, I like to keep it simple to see how the particular ingredient tastes and feels. I have done enough with stinging nettles that this time I wanted to make something a little more complex – and find a way to use up my prolific patch before it all goes to seed. Stinging nettle tastes very much like spinach, and loses its sting once cooked. It can be used in any recipe calling for cooked spinach, and vice versa.

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I’ve made plenty of pasta dishes before, but never ravioli, so that seemed a good place to start. I also wanted to make a sauce to serve with it, one which is not so substantial that it would take over the dish, but with enough flavour to jazz it up. Enter black garlic – an ingredient I have been wanting to make myself but not sure that with the risk it involves it would be worth using the amount of electricity required. I did pick up a package of black garlic when in Spain, so this seemed a good time to try it out. Mixed with sage, butter and a little lemon sounded like a plan. Some might like a little grated parmesan on the finished product, but hardly necessary.

If you are not familiar with black garlic, it is garlic which has been cured over several weeks at a warm temperature, and then aged further. The cloves turn a definite black, are soft and gooey in texture, and have a wonderful smokey, sweet flavour which works in just about any dish calling for garlic. These came in a box of two heads with the papery skin all in tact. It is expensive though, and if you don’t have it, roasted garlic would be a good substitute.

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For the pasta

2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)

3 eggs

2 Tbsp cooked, pureed sweet potato (optional)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

1 beaten egg

Make a well in the flour salt mixture and pour in the sweet potato, eggs and oil. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until it is well combined. Wrap it up in a wet cloth or plastic and refrigerate for at least a half hour or up to 24. Bring it back to room temperature before rolling it.

Using about one-fifth of the dough at a time, form it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick then roll it out either with a rolling pin or a pasta machine. Either way, roll it several times. I started with the widest setting on the machine, folded the pasta over and passed it through again, repeating this several times. As I worked down to the thinnest setting, I folded the pasta in two each time, aiming for as rectangular a shape as I could get. This repeated rolling makes the pasta stronger and less likely to rip, even when very thin.

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Remember to keep the dough you are not using covered so it does not dry out.

Place the rectangle on a board and cut in two. Brush the edges of one sheet with the beaten egg, including around where you expect to cut the ravioli. I brushed all four edges, one line down the centre lengthwise, and then across according to the size I wanted. Bigger is less work!

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Fill the centres with a heaping tsp. of filling and place the other sheet on top. Press down around the edges of each piece and cut. Fork the edges to secure. Set on a floured surface and cover with a damp towel while you do the remainder.

For the Filling

1 1/2 cups cooked, chopped stinging nettles

1 Tbsp dried onion flakes

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Squeeze any excess water out of the nettles. Mix all the ingredients.

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For the Sauce

1/2 cup butter

one handful of fresh sage leaves

3 cloves black garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice or a lemon zest

Melt the butter in a saucepan. When it starts to foam, add the leaves and garlic. Continue to cook about 3 minutes. Add the salt and lemon.

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Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water, about five minutes. Serve with a little of the butter sauce drizzled over it.

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The sauce with the sage and black garlic is a winner. I will either have to cure my own, or maybe travel back to Spain for more, depending on which is more cost-effective.

I apologize for my late arrival at Fiesta Friday this week, but hope there are enough party-goers around to give this 3-part recipe a try.

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

19 thoughts on “Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Sage and Black Garlic Butter

  1. Everything is so new to me. Thanks a bunch for introducing this to me and for bringing such awesome meal to this week’s Fiesta Friday. I hope you are having a good time, Hilda.πŸ™‚ xx

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  2. Gorgeous recipe, Hilda! I am so glad that you explained the black garlic! I thought that it grew black!:/ Oh well, now I know and I will keep my eye out for it, as I have been wanting to try it for some time. Have a great week!

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  3. Makes a change from the perennial (but very tasty!) nettle soup … and thanks for the intro to black garlicπŸ™‚

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  4. Your ravioli looks really good,Hilda. I had the chance to receive a couple a month ago a parcel from Elaine Elaine @foodbod with black garlic. I was so impressed by the taste, (soft and unctuous). I agree with you black garlic is a winner!πŸ™‚

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  5. This is just fantastic.
    I have never tried making pasta at home. Do we have to have a pasta machine to make it? The nettle filling sounds very interesting and use of whole wheat flour is surely a winner!

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    • Thanks Sonal. I know lots of people who roll out pasta with a rolling pin, but when I tried it I couldn’t get it thin enough. I think if you fold it and roll it several times, that helps. My wrist is still week so I am not rolling or kneading much these days, but it is worth a try.

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  6. This is just amazing Hilda. … love it…

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  7. It’s a lovely recipe, Hilda and worth trying. Though I wouldn’t know a nettle if I tripped over it. Perhaps I could replace it with something else. But it’s not the point, is it? You bravely experiment where no other chef has the nerve to. Well done.

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    • Thanks Mary. I think you would know stinging nettles if you had the misfortune to trip over them. They would sting you badly, but not do you any harm. In fact some consider the sting to be therapeutic. Once cooked, the sting disappears. If you don’t have any, spinach is a good substitute.

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  8. Just from the sound of the name I never realized you could eat stinging nettle! Black garlic is another very interesting ingredient here that I’d really like to try as you described the flavour so wonderfully. I just hope I don’t have to fly to Spain myself to get it (not that it wouldn’t be fun!) Such a fascinating recipe!

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    • Thanks. I have a few posts on nettle and I really hope some people will give it a try. Most people can probably get black garlic in a local specialty shop and I expect, like garlic, it will gain in popularity.

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  9. I would LOVE to try this!!

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  10. They look so satisfyingly delicious!πŸ˜›

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  11. I keep meaning to make nettle ravioli. Not sure I can make it as well as you do but am definitely going to give it a try!

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