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|
Serve this one over spaghetti for extra inauthenticity but whatever pasta you have will work.
Tomato and Nettle Sauce
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|
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|
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.