At Delfina in San Francisco, Craig Stoll serves this delicate, fresh-tasting sauce over house-made nettle pasta. Nettles, which grow wild in many parts of the West, have small stinging hairs when raw, but once cooked, they're safe to touch.
Sunset JANUARY 2012
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, fill the sink with water. Wearing rubber gloves, pull nettle leaves from stems into sink. Swish to rinse; drain. Add nettles to boiling water. Simmer until soft, 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water, and squeeze out water. Whirl in a food processor until smooth.
2. Cook pasta as package directs. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in pot used for nettles. Whisk in nettle purée, salt, and 1 cup hot pasta water; keep warm over low heat.
3. Drain pasta, reserving about 2 cups water. Add pasta to pot of sauce and toss with 3/4 cup parmesan, half of pine nuts, and some reserved water if needed so it's loose-textured. Transfer to a shallow bowl and sprinkle with remaining pine nuts and a little more parmesan if you like.
*Find nettles at farmers' markets. (They grow wild in many areas too.)
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Go to full version of