These gnocchi are served with a nettle pesto or a tomato and nettle sauce, and are especially tasty with plenty of butter and topped with toasted pine nuts and grated Parmesan.

Some people consider nettles to be a ‘weed’, but as naturalist and author Nick Baker argues, nettles and other ‘weeds’ are important for wildlife. “Where there’s a patch of weeds, there will be stories to tell,” he says. “A rich collection of cultural tomes, a gallery of visual feasts and a bestiary beyond your wildest imagination. It is in these tangled banks that real wild complexity still lurks.”

Head over to our foraging hub for more foraging advice and recipe ideas, including how to forage sustainably, how to make elderflower sorbet and how to make dandelion syrup.


  • 750g Potatoes
  • 170g Nettle tips or young leaves
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 150g Plain flour
  • Sauce to serve, nettle pesto or tomato and nettle sauce


  • STEP 1

    Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water until soft. Drain, then return to the saucepan and mash together with the blanched nettles.

  • STEP 2

    Add the egg and flour to the potato mixture and bring the mixture together to form a dough.

  • STEP 3

    Divide the dough into several pieces and roll out gently with our hands until you have rolls about 3/4 in diameter.

  • STEP 4

    Cut the rolls of dough into pieces about 1in long. Using your fingertip, press against a piece of dough and roll it slightly to form an indentation. As the gnocchi are made, place them on a baking tray and lightly dust with flour.

  • STEP 5

    Boil a saucepan of salted water and gently drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the water. As soon as they rise to surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain well.

  • STEP 6

    Arrange on a warm serving dish and serve with nettle pesto or tomato and nettle sauce.

This recipe is an extract from Nettle Cookbook by Vivian Tuffney, published by the Natural History Museum, London.

Nettle Cookbook cover

Main image: Stinging nettle gnocchi. © Piga & Catalano s.n.c/Getty