Thursday, 30 May 2013

Tomato and Nettle Sauce

Nettles are crazy nutritious with 6g of protein per 100g and lots of stuff that's good for you like vitamin a, vitamin c, calcium and iron. They also sting like a bitch.

In fact stinging like a bitch is their defining characteristic. But it's worth it at this time of year (spring, early summer only. Later in the year they suck) to put on a pair of gloves and pick the top few leaves of the nettle to eat. They are delicious, crazy nutritious and don't sting once you soak them in water.

It occurs to me that I could call this Net Bol but I don't know if I want to put you through that
This recipe takes advantage of their strong flavour to cook them in a bolognese style sauce. I'd like to think I'd make this by going out in the morning, foraging for nettles, cutting some fresh herbs and then lazily cooking this sauce in the afternoon. A good weekend project. Actually because most of the cooking is inattentive it makes a good quick weekday supper while preping for Brownies or catching up on your drudgery cleaning. Okay so more like watching TV. No need to judge me.

Moving on...

Serve this one over spaghetti for extra inauthenticity but whatever pasta you have will work.

Tomato and Nettle Sauce
(serves two)

1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small carrot, diced
a couple of teaspoons of olive oil
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
half a teaspoon each of fresh rosemary and thyme (chopped if you feel like it)
Salt and pepper
A big handful of young nettle leaves

Pop a large saucepan (use one with a lid!) on medium heat, chuck your oil in and add your onion, garlic and carrot. Cook for five minutes, until the veg is softened. You may need to stir and add a small amount of water to keep things from sticking

Add the can of chopped tomatoes, fill the can half way with water and add that to the pan as well

Just showing off my rosemary
Throw in the herbs and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper

Simmer with the lid on for an hour, stir every... whenever it occurs to you.

Remove the lid and cook for another 15 mins, adding a bit of water if it gets too dry

Wear gloves when measuring a big handful of nettles
While it's cooking roughly chop your nettles, wear gloves if you haven't soaked them.

When the 15 minutes is up add the nettles and cook, stirring often for another 10 minutes until the nettles are good and wilted.

Taste to adjust your seasoning, serve over past and enjoy.

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