Mozarella and nettle mezzaluna
Making homemade pasta from scratch is quite easy and great fun. The nettles add nutrition and give the pasta its wonderful green colour – if nettles are not available, you'll get the same effect by using spinach.
Bowlful nettle tops
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
200g plain flour
125g mozzarella, cut into small cubes
Put the nettles into a large sieve and rinse thoroughly under the cold tap, then blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water to remove the sting. Drain well, then put into a blender with the olive oil and blend until smooth.
Add the nettles to the eggs and whisk together. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the spinach and egg mixture a little at a time, mixing well, until a dough begins to form. If the dough feels sticky, add a little more flour.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Roll out to a thickness of about 2mm, and use a small flute-edged biscuit cutter to cut out circles. Brush the edges of the circles with a little water and place a cube of mozzarella in the centre of each. Fold each circle over into a half moon shape – “mezzaluna” in Italian – and press down along the edge with your finger to seal each pasta parcel.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the pasta parcels. Boil for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain and serve with butter or a splash of olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.