Ravioli with Ricotta and Stinging Nettles

photo: Freshly foraged nettles at Fairburn Farm

Mara Jernigan writes: “Ortica”, as they are called in Italian, are sometimes used as a filling for ravioli or tortelli in spring. Pick and wash nettles wearing rubber gloves to avoid the irritating sting. Use a hand crank pasta machine or an electric pasta roller to make the dough.



For the filling:

1 cup cooked chopped nettles (about 16

cups raw cleaned leaves required)

2 cups of drained ricotta

1 egg, to bind the mixture

1/2 Cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

A pinch of salt


*if you are short on ricotta, add up to 1/4 Cup of fine bread crumbs

Pasta dough ratio: per person

1/2 Cup of flour for 1 egg, plus enough

extra flour to keep the dough from

sticking during the kneading process




Wash the nettles and boil; drain, squeeze out moisture, and chop. Drain the ricotta for 1/2 an hour in a strainer and then mix the ricotta with the cooked nettles, egg, grated parmigiano, salt and a little nutmeg.


Make pasta dough, allow the rest 1/2 an hour. Knead the dough through the machine repeatedly until strong, smoth and elastic. Roll out in thin strips the width of the pasta machine.


Pipe or spoon the filling in little clumps about the size of a half a teaspoon all along the strips, (in the middle) placing them 4-5 centimetres apart. Fold over the strip of dough lengthwise to cover the filling; press down with fingertips to seal all around the filling mounds and along the edges so they do not come apart while cooking.


Cut the individual ravioli into squares, about 6 centimetres long, using the pasta cutter or a knife. Pinch the edges of the individual ravioli one more time.


Arrange on trays dusted with semolina and place in the freezer until cooking time.


Cook in plenty of salted boiling water for about 5 minutes; drain carefully and serve with melted butter and grated cheese.

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