Pasta can be stuffed with almost any combination of vegetables, cheeses, meats and seasonings, but the most common filling in Tuscany is a mixture of soft ricotta cheese and finely chopped cooked greens. In the lush hills of the Casentino, north of Arezzo, ravioli are filled with the leaves of stinging nettles, a weed that grows wild throughout Tuscany, or more commonly with spinach or Swiss chard. Nettles are an extremely nutritious green with a faint tangy flavor. The best time to collect nettles is during spring and summer. Choose the smaller, tender upper leaves of the plant, being careful to wear gloves when handling them.
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