30 By 30: Spaetzle

September 28, 2010 · 18 comments

in 30 by 30,pasta

Now that Fall is here (yay!) I can start getting to some of the more comforting and hearty meals in my 30 by 30 list.  I’ve only had spaetzle a handful of times, but I really like it.  What’s not to like about something that is a cross between a noodle and a dumpling? Not to mention laced with nutmeg and sautéed in butter.

This was incredibly easy to make.  For some reason, I decided I needed to make it on a Wednesday because I work from home on Wednesdays and no commute = more time to prepare dinner.  But what happened was I got the mixture together and it was, like, 5:05.    So, I actually stuck it in the fridge for a bit while I boiled the water and got everything else for dinner together.  I was originally going to make this with some chicken schnitzel, but I decided I didn’t want (errrrneed) the additional carbs since I was already eating the spaetzle. So instead, I just seasoned and broiled some boneless/skinless chicken thighs–which is one of the fastest and tastiest ways to make them–and made green beans, too.

The only issue I had while making these was that the  bottom holes on my colander were a bit small, so I had to use the ones on the side.  It wasn’t very…um, ergonomic…holding a large colander on its side while pushing the dough through, but it wasn’t bad.

The original recipe said to simmer these for 5-8 minutes, which I think would be a mushy mess unless you  have some big spaetzle.  I simmered mine closer to 3 and they were perfect.

Spaetzle are a nice alternative to a homemade pasta when you don’t have the proper tools to make pasta or you’re just too damned lazy (hi, that’s me).

Spaetzle

Adapted from AllRecipes
Serves 4-6

1 cup AP flour*
1/2 tsp. freshly grated  nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2-3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a gentle boil/simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the eggs and milk alternately to the flour mixture.  Mix until smooth. (*I had to add about 1 Tbsp. extra flour.)

In batches, press the dough through a spaetzle maker or the holes in a metal colander, into the simmering water.  Cook just a few minutes until the spaetzle are done–they will rise to the surface.   Lift the spaetzle out with a mesh strainer or slotted spoon.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the spaetzle.  Stir to coat the spaetzle and cook about 2 minutes or until they start to get a little color.  Stir in the chopped parsley.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

brannyboilsover September 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I love spaetzle and I’ve made them a handful of times. I always give myself quite a facial standing over the boiling water with my colander. Anyway, my unfortunate husband does not like spaetzle and asked me not to make it for him anymore (and I think that was a a first in this household … oh wait, he asked me not to make gnocchi, either).

Your picture is so appealing!

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Amy I. September 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I’m so excited to read that it’s possible to make spaetzle without a spaetzle maker! I always just assumed that special equipment is needed. So good to know… thanks for enlightening me, Elly!

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Francie September 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I use a slotted spoon to make my spaetzle. Next time try adding a handful of parmesan cheese, some black pepper and a bit of parsley. Divine. I pat mine dry after boiling and brown them up a bit in a little olive oil or butter or a combo of the two. I’m definitely going to have to add spaetzle to the menu next week…

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nina September 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I use my colander to make sptze, but my family is not keen for them. Maybe I’m doing something wrong!!!

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Christine September 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The latest issue of Cooks country recommends using a disposable pie plate in which you punch your own holes to make the spaetzle – I hope to try it soon! Yours looks so good.

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Peter September 29, 2010 at 5:48 am

I made this once and they were okay but I want to try them again…seems so easy and you’ve bouyed my confidence.

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elly September 29, 2010 at 8:18 am

The slotted spoon and the punctured pie tin both sound like great ways to make the spaetzle!

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Maria September 29, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I’ve seen spaetzle in recipe books and magazines but have never had the chance to try it. It looks quite good the way you’ve prepared it and I look forward to trying it.

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newlywed September 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

I’ve never had spaetzle — but love the picture and sound of it! Thanks for the inspiration and the recipe.

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Stephanie @ Per l'Amore del Cibo September 30, 2010 at 9:33 am

We’ve made spatzel a few times, and the first time we were like you — amazed at how easy it was. But you don’t have to share that secret with the people eating it, right? I mean…technically you slaved all day over that dough, right? ;)

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Ivy September 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I bought spaetzle in Switzerland and cooked them but never made them from scratch. Didn’t know they were so easy.

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BeckyS October 2, 2010 at 8:04 am

If you have a potato ricer use the largest holed disk that comes with your ricer for your dough. It makes smaller spaetzle, but you can eat more! Lots less messy too!

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Dianne Salazar October 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Trying to make this, but no matter how long I keep the dough in the water, it still comes out very mushy. Any pointers?

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elly October 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Hi Dianne. Do you have the water at a gentle simmer/very light boil, rather than a rapid one? Are you taking the spaetzle out once they rise to the surface? If so, I’m not sure what else the problem would be. Sorry about the mushy spaetzle!

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Joshua Borton January 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Just a thought, but perhaps you are using Self Rising flour which might expand more and become more puffy in the water, thus increasing the amount of water which can saturate each noodle. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

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Melissa October 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I have only ever had completely non-authentic frozen spaetzle, I am sure this is so much better!

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Saveur October 6, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Congrats on tackling spaetzle, Elly. Yours look gorgeous and make me want to make some myself really soon. mmmm!
(Btw, I am shocked that so many people don’t like them.. they are my absolute favourite, especially when spiked with chives)

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