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Homemade Stinging Nettle Fettuccine Alfredo

Posted On December 21st, 2014 Author Lia Rinaldo

Homemade Nettle Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves 3-4 people, from here.

About 1/2 pound of stinging nettle (or spinach)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

1. Remove the leaves from the nettle plants and discard the stems. Rinse the leaves and place them in a pot of boiling water (or steam them) for 60 seconds. Remove from water and immediately rinse in cold water. (Save the cooking water for the pasta). Squeeze all the water out of the leaves.

2. In a food processor, purée the nettles, olive oil, and 1 egg until smooth. You should end up with about 3/4 cup of nettle purée. Don't worry if it's a little more or less than this amount.

3. Mix the semolina and flour together and shape into a mound on a clean countertop. Make a well in the center. Crack the second egg into the well, then add the nettle purée. With a fork, gradually mix the egg and nettles into the flour from the inside out, pushing in the outer edges with your hand as you mix, if need be. As soon as the dough is not too sticky to handle, begin to knead it with your hands until the flour is integrated into the dough and you can gather it into a ball. Knead it for an additional 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour. If it's too dry, add a little water. It should be a firm dough, not sticky, but not dry or cracking at the edges. After kneading, cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

4. After the resting period, cut the ball into 4 pieces. If using a pasta machine, follow the manufacturer's instructions. If using a rolling pin, roll the dough as thinly as you can without it breaking up. Sprinkle a little flour so it doesn't stick. Once you have a nice thin sheet of pasta, sprinkle a little more flour on top. You can either cut it flat with a knife if you are good at cutting in straight lines. Or you can roll up your pasta sheet like a cigar and then cut across into 1/4 inch thick noodles. Unravel your pasta strands and sprinkle a little flour on them so they don't stick together. Repeat with remaining 3 balls of dough until all the dough has been rolled out and cut into fettuccine.
Continue on with Aube's Alfredo sauce here or skip to the next recipe below-

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (you can use the same water that cooked the nettles). Meanwhile, pour the cream into a large skillet or wok and begin to heat gently on medium-low heat. Cook the pasta in the boiling water only until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove it from the water and transfer it directly into your simmering cream.

6. Add half of the parmesan and stir gently. Simmer until the sauce has thickened to your liking, usually about 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or your pasta will get mushy. Remove from heat. Season with salt, pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg. Serve hot and garnish with the remaining parmesan.

Fettuccini Alfredo with Prosciutto and Peas
Serves 4-6 people, from here.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound prosciutto, julienned
1 cup frozen peas, thawed- I had no peas!
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
1 pound fresh fettuccini

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute for a couple minutes or until tender. Add cream and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add prosciutto and peas and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle cheese over top and stir to melt and combine. Cook until heated through.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, add fettuccini and cook until al dente (just a couple minutes for fresh pasta.) Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Add the reserved pasta water and drained fettucini to skillet. Toss to combine pasta with sauce and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve, garnished with extra cheese.

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