Nettle Linguine

It's not often that you get to 'weed' and 'crop' simultaneously when you're out in the garden, but nettles do give you the chance to do exactly this kind of multi-tasking... so now; instead of groaning inwardly as I spy another little patch of nettles springing up outside the back door, I cheerfully start planning pasta and potato gnocchi recipes... This particular sauce is very quick to make, very healthy, and very nettle-ey with lots of flavour from the additional herbs (which are to be found ailing slightly in an Essex garden near me, or flourishing at reputable herb retailers).


  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • Dried Oregano and Thyme
  • 8 Anchovies
  • Fresh Herbs – Chives and Parsley
  • Handful Cherry Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Nettles
  • Dried Chilli Flakes
  • Linguine or Spaghetti
  • Almonds

Get your ingredients ready – and the water on for the Pasta….

Wash a very large bowlful of Nettle leaves in water (wearing gloves!!) and pour boiling water over them (using a colander).  Rinse in cold water and squeeze all the excess water out (you don’t have to wear gloves now).  Squeeze into a ball and chop finely

(You’ll be surprised how much they wilt down, so use plenty…)

Crush the Garlic, chop the Oregano and Thyme – and the Chives and Parsley.  Drain the Anchovies and halve the Cherry Tomatoess

Get the Pasta on to cook…

Fry the Garlic for a few minutes in a Olive Oil over a medium heat

Add the Anchovies and the Oregano and Thyme

Fry for a few minutes and add the halved Cherry Tomatoes and the Nettles.  Turn off the heat and only add the Chives and Parsley at the last minute…

When the Pasta is al dente – reserve a jug of the cooking water – drain the Pasta and put back into the saucepan… Add the Nettle Sauce, a good drizzle of Olive Oil and a big splash of the cooking water.  Keep stirring over a low heat, adding more water if you need to (you’re after a bit of liquid to the Sauce, but not too much!)

Serve immediately with chopped and roasted Almonds (or Pine Nuts)

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