Growing up in Germany, we ate homemade Spätzle fairly regularly. The side dishes served with these tastily little morsels depend on the region you live in. We generally ate brown lentils perked up with a splash of vinegar and Wiener Würstchen along with the Spätzle.
First we would make the batter, let it rest and then cook the Spätzle in salted water. When all the batter was used, we would sauté a finely chopped onion with some garlic in butter, add the drained Spätzle and fry them until they got a bit crispy in spots. Last but not least, we would sprinkle some Swiss mountain cheese over the top. Before you knew, a huge pan full of these popular little noodles had disappeared!
It has been a long time since I’ve made Spätzle at home. A while back I ordered a Spätzle maker from Amazon. When my friend Misty’s birthday came around, I decided to cook lunch for her, and our wonderful friend Marlene (who is also German) joined us.
The recipe looks like a lot of work, but it really isn’t! If you don’t have a Spätzle maker, you can put the batter into a large holed colander and press it directly into the boiling water. Just be careful so you don’t burn yourself.
Here is the recipe:
- 3 cups white flour ( you can use part semolina flour if you want)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk, not the canned kind)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Grated Emmental or Gruyere cheese ( the cheese is good, but you can leave it out if you don’t eat dairy )
- olive oil
- lots of fresh, minced garlic
- lots of fresh minced parsley ( I like Italian )
- other fresh minced herbs like sage, oregano or thyme are tasty too
- finely minced fresh chile peppers if desired
In a large bowl, combine the flour, semolina if using, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and your choice of milk.
Add the liquid to the flour, and beat with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes, until light, bubbly and well combined.
The batter should be very thick, like a heavy pancake batter, and flow slowly.
Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for about an hour.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place the Spätzle maker across top of the pot.
Add a ladle or two of the batter, and push the batter carriage back and forth.
The Spätzle will fall into the boiling water below and float to the top when done.
This takes a few minutes. Stir them around a bit, and then lift them out with a slotted spoon.
Place them into a bowl with a bit of butter or olive oil to prevent sticking.
Repeat until all the batter is used up.
Next, melt some butter or olive oil in a large stainless steel or cast-iron pan.
Add the garlic and parsley, a sprinkle of salt and then the Spätzle. Sauté until golden and crisp in places.
If you prefer, you can layer the Spätzle, garlic-parsley sauté and grated swiss cheese in a ovenproof dish and bake at 350° until heated through. Broil the last few minutes for a nice crusty top!
We also ate Brussels Sprouts and a Mushroom Goulash, which I will post next week. We ended the lunch with a cup of German coffee and a piece of vegan chocolate cake! Not a bad way to start the week!