Sorrel Fettucine + Sorrel Pesto

Sorrel Fettucine + Sorrel Pesto

Like “lemonade in a leaf,” sorrel’s tart and tangy flavor brightens this simple combination of sorrel fettucine dressed with sorrel pesto. Featuring this perennial herb in both the pasta and the pesto delivers a double dose of spring.

Sorrel Fettucine + Sorrel Pesto

Sorrel’s acidic flavor makes this European plant a sought after source of vitamin C, and is also known to aid digestion. When considering sorrel, the younger leaves are best used fresh, while the older ones are more acidic and better suited to cooking, which tames its bite. Culinary uses include tossed on its own as a salad, whisked into a vinaigrette, pureed into a creamy sauce, or cooked into a French-style soup. Smaller leaves may be used whole; the tough stems of larger ones can be removed much as one would with spinach, by folding the leave in half lengthwise and pulling the stem away.

Sorrel Fettucine + Sorrel Pesto
Incorporating sorrel into a batch of homemade pasta and pesto takes advantage of its early season freshness. We had duck eggs on hand for the pasta dough, and their richness plays off the sprightliness of the sorrel. When making pasta, chicken and duck eggs may be used interchangeably, however, duck eggs, with their larger yolk, contain less water and may require an extra splash to compensate.

Sorrel Fettucine + Sorrel Pesto

For the pasta dough, we like using 10 ounces of flour to 2 eggs, a proportion adapted from Paul Bertolli’s Cooking by Hand. We find it’s a large enough batch to make the effort worthwhile, serving 4 amply or 2 with leftovers, yet manageable enough to turn homemade pasta into an everyday affair. This recipe takes easily to experimenting with different flours, just substitute from 2 to 5 ounces of the white.

Sorrel Fettucine

10 ounces all-purpose or 00 flour
2 chicken or duck eggs, about 4 ounces, lightly beaten
½ cup minced sorrel
1 tablespoon water, more if necessary

– Place the flour on the counter or in a bowl, and make a well in the center. Add the herbs and eggs to the well, and stir to combine. Drizzle the water over the mixture and stir again until it forms a shaggy mass. Mix the dough until it feels tacky and fully incorporated, then, if using a bowl, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough loses its surface moisture, is a uniform color, and springs back when depressed, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cover the dough with a small bowl, and let it rest for at least 1 hour before rolling and cutting. Makes 4 portions.

Sorrel Fettucine + Sorrel Pesto

One of the characteristics of sorrel is that it becomes muted in cooking, both in flavor and color, and a pesto helps retain as much of its vibrancy as possible. While the sorrel fettucine and sorrel pesto can be served on their own, we like the delicious affect of layered flavors they create when tossed together.

Sorrel Pesto

1 clove garlic or 2 stalks green garlic, chopped into 1 inch lengths
⅓ cup pine nuts or walnuts
1 cup chopped sorrel leaves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

– Place garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, then add the nuts and repeat pulsing until well ground. Add the sorrel, lemon juice, olive oil and salt, and pulse until it forms a creamy consistency. Transfer the pesto to a bowl, and stir in the cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste. Best served fresh; may be refrigerated several days.

Local ingredients: Sorrel from Stout Oak Farm; duck eggs from Cracked an Egg Farm; and green garlic from Meadow’s Mirth.

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12 Responses to Sorrel Fettucine + Sorrel Pesto

  1. alifemoment says:

    This look so yummy! :)

  2. Katrina says:

    Oh, I love these recipes! Many thanks for some great new ideas for all that sorrel I have this year.

  3. cheri says:

    This pasta dish looks amazing, I bet it is delicious. Can this method and amounts be used for other types of greens as well like chard or spinach?

    • The pasta can definitely made with spinach or nettles, haven’t tried chard — use around 6 to 8 ounces fresh leaves, blanch briefly and shock to hold color, squeeze dry and finely chop. You probably won’t need to add any extra water, and since spinach is more fibrous than sorrel, it’s easier to handle if you make the pasta dough in a food processor. Hope this helps, let me know how it turns out!

  4. beth says:

    love that your recipes are so seasonal – we just started getting sorrel in our herb share, and while we love throwing it in some shrimp scampi, i’m definitely trying out the pesto tonight. thanks for the idea!

    • Hi Beth, thanks for your encouraging words! The season is so much later here, we’re often worried that what we’re covering may have already past for most people… we suspect somewhere they’ve already moved onto peas ;)

      • beth says:

        for us, you’re pretty close – we’re just north of boston, and our seasons map pretty closely. :) we’ve just gotten plants in the garden in the last few weeks, and local crops are really only just starting up.

  5. Chris says:

    I’m hungry….

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