Once you have cooked this recipe you are never going to look at a Nettle in the same way again. Admittedly, this recipe is an adaption of one of my Wild food heroes recipes – Antonio Carluccio so I can‘t claim it as my own, but if you haven’t tried it please do as it makes the risk of a few stings pale into insignificance, oh and you get two treats at once, a bi-product of this recipe is Nettle Tea!
Stinging Nettle Gnocchi with Dolcelatte Sauce
100g Dolcelatte Cheese
100ml Milk (Full Fat)
55g Unsalted Butter
You should already have picked out your Nettle leaves making sure that you select only the best – the top four leaves of the plant are the tastiest and most tender, make sure that you go for the light green and freshest leaves. Give them a good wash then place them in boiling water for 10 minutes. This boiling is what destroys the sting! Once 10 minutes have passed drain the leaves and then squeeze out and remaining liquid from the leaves and set aside. The cooking fluid is nettle tea so you can have a brew now or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days.
Now peel and boil your potatoes in salted water until cooked then drain and mash, allow to cool down a little.
Meanwhile finely chop the nettles and put them in a bowl, add your beaten egg to the chopped nettles and mix. Now, season the egg mixture generously and grate in some Nutmeg and stir.
Turn out your mashed potato onto a clean work surface and then mix in the flour. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and potato mix and add the nettle and egg to flour and potatoes, gently kneed mixing all the time until a nice dough is formed and all of the liquid mix is combined with the solid.
Now, flour your surface and roll the dough into a long sausage about 2cm thick. Cut the sausage into 3cm sections (lengthways), continue until the whole sausage is cut up. Dust the sections again with flour and also flour a fork (a large curved fork is best). To shape the Gnocchi take a section of the mix and roll the back of the fork along the sections so that you leave little ridges along each piece of Gnocchi now repeat placing the fork rolled gnocchi onto a floured plate. Make sure that you do this in one quick movement, applying enough pressure to turn the Gnocchi but gently enough not to push through them.
If your struggling to make Gnocchi this way click the link for another method - How to make Gnocchi
Dolcelatte is a blue cheese made from cow’s milk, it lends itself excellently to the cooked greens and melts beautifully to make the sauce. Oh, and the Dolcelatte sauce is particularly easy to make! Simply place the butter in a pan and melt it over a low heat. Then cut up the Dolcelatte Cheese into cubes and add the cheese along with the milk in the pan. Heat the mix on a low heat until it is all melted and combined.. Such a simple sauce such wonderful flavour!
Have a separate saucepan of boiling salted water ready and then drop in the Stinging Nettle Gnocchi, it won’t take long (literally seconds) until they start rising to the surface of the water, when this happens they are done. Drain and coat in the sauce immediately. Grate some Parmesan over the top with a crack of Black Pepper and serve on a warmed plate… Serves 4!
Sometimes I throw some toasted crushed Walnuts over the dish as a garnish too, I love it but some people aren’t keen so I’ll leave this one up to you!!
Sound delicious?? I told you, you will never look at a Stinging Nettle in the same way again!
Stinging Nettle Gnocchi with Dolcelatte Sauce!
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