Recipe found on

Makes 3 – 4 servings


  • 8 oz linguine (or any pasta, author used spinach flavored)
  • 3– 4 cups raw stinging nettles
  • 2– 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted- reserving 1 Tablespoon for garnish
  • 1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (white or black)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated – reserving 1 Tablespoon for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest, for garnish


Bring generously salted water to boil in a pot big enough to hold nettles and stems. Once boiling, using tongs, place the nettles in the pot (stems are ok). Blanch in rapidly boiling water for 1 ½ minutes. Using the tongs, remove from water and place in ice water bath, to chill rapidly. Separate leaves from bigger stems, placing all leaves and some of the smaller stems on a clean kitchen towel. Wring dry. You should have just about 1 cup of nettles.

Place them in a food processor with the pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, cheese, salt, pepper and oil. Pulse until until uniform, but not too smooth. Scrape down sides to make sure all is combined.

Boil pasta in generously salted water. Re-using the nettle water over again is fine (whatever you prefer). Once pasta is cooked to al dente, remove with tongs and immediately toss with the pesto. Taste and adjust salt and lemon. Add chili flakes if you like!

Garnish with lemon zest (important), pine nuts and grated Parmesan, serve immediately.