(German egg dumplings)
Spätzle (SHPEHT-sluh) is a simple egg dumpling popular in southwestern Germany and parts of Switzerland and Austria. It is served as a side dish, often with roast pork, sausages, schnitzel or goulash.
It is sometimes spelled Spaetzle. Other names are Spatzen, Spätzli and Knöpfle.
6 to 8 servings
- Flour --3 cups
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- White pepper -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Nutmeg (optional) -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Eggs, beaten -- 4
- Water or milk -- 1 cup
- Sift the flour, salt, pepper and optional nutmeg together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl beat together the eggs and milk or water. Mix the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and beat well with a fork or whisk until smooth. Add a little more liquid or flour as needed to get a thick and elastic yet pourable consistency.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches of 1 to 1 1/2 cups at a time, pour the batter through a sieve or colander with large holes (about 1/8-1/4 inch) so small bits drop off into the boiling water. Let cook for about 1 minute, or until the spätzle noodles float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon to another bowl. Continue with the remaining batter until it is all used up.
- The finished noodles can be tossed with butter and some toasted breadcrumbs and served as a side dish.
- Another way to make the spätzle is to spread a thin layer of batter on a smooth cutting board and scrape pieces off into the boiling water with a knive. You can also use a spätzle press, a utensil that looks a lot like a potato ricer but with bigger holes.
- Käsespätzle (Cheese spaetzle): Layer spätzle with shredded Emmenthaler cheese in a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350˚F until the cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with onions browned in butter, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
- Kräuterspätzle (Herbed spaetzle): Mix a variety of chopped fresh herbs—parsley, thyme, marjoram—into the batter. Serve tossed with butter and sautéed onions.
- Spinatspätzle (Spinach spaetzle): Blanch 1 pound of spinach and squeeze dry. Puree in a blender or food processor and use in place of the water or milk. You may have to add a little water to get the correct batter consistency. You can use frozen spinach if you like. Defrost and squeeze dry.
- Pilzspätzle (Mushroom Spatzle): Toss the spätzle with sliced mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter.