STINGING NETTLE PAPPARDELLE WITH BOAR RAGU
1 recipe Stinging Nettle Pasta Dough (see below), rolled out to the thinnest setting and cut into 1-inch wide ribbons.
In a heavy 6- to 8-quart sauce pan, heat the olive oil until smoking. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until softened and light brown (about 12 to 15 minutes). Add the anchovy paste, chili flakes, rosemary, red wine and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and drop into the tomato sauce mixture. Return to a boil and lower to simmer and cook 90 minutes. The meat should be falling apart with the poke of a fork. Allow to cool 10 minutes. In a food processor, barely pulse 4 ounce ladles of meat mixture until "stew" resembles meat sauce. Check for seasoning and set aside.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
Place the ragu in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Drop the pappardelle into the boiling water and cook until tender yet firm. Drain the pasta in a colander over the sink and pour into the ragu. Toss gently to coat and pour into a warm serving bowl and serve immediately.
Stinging Nettle Pasta Dough
1 packed cup stinging nettle leaves (be careful to always wear gloves when handling uncooked nettles)
3 ½ to 4 cups flour
4 extra-large eggs
½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stove. Blanch 1 cup stinging nettle leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute, then removed with tongs or a slotted spoon and immediately plunge it into the ice bath. Remove the cooked nettles from the ice bath after 2 minutes and squeeze very dry in a clean, dry kitchen towel, removing as much moisture as possible. Chop the spinach very fine and place in a medium bowl with the eggs and olive oil. Stir well to make as homogenized a mixture as possible.
Mound 3 ½ cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs, olive oil, and nettle mixture. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.
As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits. Lightly re-flour the board and continue kneading for six more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Roll or shape as desired.