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Garden Pasta

with wild mint, nettle & lemon

· Food

All the great inventions in the history were accidents, right? Fragile(s) food blog is dedicated for sharing improvised dishes that accidentally turned out to be pretty damn delicious.

All the "recipes" in this blog are rough estimates of the ingredients I happened to put in the pot or whip up together since I had no idea that they would actually be so good before the plates were already scooped empty. Anyhow, I still thought to share the good combinations or techniques I found in case they inspire you to cook something... to that direction!

Garden pasta

I love cooking with good, simple ingredients relying on my instincts. My specialty is improvising with the leftovers and the sad, forgotten vegetables of the pantry before heading to the farm.

The first recipe I share in this blog, however, is inspired by the abundance of fresh nettle that covers at least 2 ha of the land at Planchette (yam!!). I threw it in with the very last lemons we brought from our trip to Sicily (we had lemon trees in the garden of our fantastic small house in Lipari island and brought back to France - what, 4 kilos?) and the first wild garden mints that started to push from the ground. The dish also happens to be probably the first one I remembered to take a picture of before it was eaten. I don't understand how real food bloggers can bear the food cooling down while trying to snap the enticing photo before digging in! Anyhow, next time I might try a bit more than just cropping off the biggest stains on the tablecloth ;)

Here is the ingredient list as well as I can recall:

Garden pasta for 2

  • heaps of young nettle (it gets very small when cooked, I had one big bowl that became 1-2 handfuls...)
  • 2 handfuls of wild mint 
  • 100-150g of linguine pasta
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 1 shallot 
  • butter & olive oil
  • white wine 
  • 2-3 lemons 
  • about 1 dl of crème fraîche 
  • parmigiano 
  • breadcrumbs (optional)
  • mozzarella or burrata (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

And in case you wish to check the instructions:

  1. Boil the nettles for a few minutes in salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the liquid away and chop smaller. 
  2.  Chop the shallot, mince the garlic and the mint. Grate the zest of one lemon
  3. Meanwhile, put the linguines or other pasta into in well salted, boiling water and cook to al dente.
  4.  Heat some butter and olive oil in a casserole over medium heat, season with salt & pepper. Add onion and garlic. Once getting golden, add a splash of white wine, lemon zest and juice of 1-3 lemons (depending on the juiciness of the lemons). Add the chopped nettle and cook for a few minutes. 
  5. Remove from the fire, stir in suitable amount of crème fraîche. Grate in a bit of parmigiano. Add  the fresh mint (I think I also added a bit of dried mint too) and pepper (and salt) to taste. 
  6. Mix the sauce with the drained pasta (don't wait too long after this because the pasta will suck in some of the sauce!!). If you have mozzarella, It's good to tear it in smaller pieces and add into the hot sauce & pasta so that it gets a bit melted. Burrata goes better on top.
  7. Garnish with more fresh mint, (toasted) breadcrumbs and pepper (and more parmigiano like Paul did).
  8. Enjoy! 
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