Spätzle, also known as spaetzle, is a soft egg noodle with Germanic roots. My great grandmother used to make something similar to this with what she called, her German dinner (dumplings with roast pork and hot purple slaw). Her dinners were the best! Three simple ingredients are all that’s required to make spätzle. Melted butter drizzled over the noodles is delicious, however, most cooks serve it with other foods such as goulash, stews, soups etc. This dish was created in the mid-1700’s in a poor area of Germany called Swabia. It was a cheap and hearty meal when meat and vegetables were too costly to be served every day.
1/3 cup milk or water
pinch sea salt
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary (optional)
1/2 cup melted butter
freshly chopped parsley for garnish
In a large bowl mix eggs and milk until combined. Add salt and rosemary to flour and stir. Tip flour to egg mixture and stir until the dough becomes a bit stretchy off the sides of the bowl. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
There are several ways to get the spätzle into the water. The traditional method was placing a blob of the dough onto a cutting board and scrape long, thin strips into the water. Other methods include a large holed colander (push dough through holes over boiling water), slotted spoon or a spätzle press (like the one I used). I have tried using the colander but that requires some elbow grease to force the dough through plus a steady hand holding onto the colander over the boiling water. The press is the easiest solution I found but having said that I haven’t tried the traditional method of using a board and scraper. I am tempted to use my potato ricer, too. Maybe I’ll experiment with both next time.
Place spätzle maker over the top of the pot of boiling water and add some of the batter into the cup of the device. Quickly slide the cup back and forth to allow the batter to drop through. Repeat, working quickly until all the batter is cooking in the pot. Set the spätzle maker aside and give the dumplings a good stir in the pot. Let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until floating to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Toss with melted butter and serve warm.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Take macaroni and cheese up a notch and use spätzle noodles! Enjoy!