Spaetzle is a cross between an egg noodle and dumpling that originated in the Alps, and is served in a few German, Austrian, Swiss and French regional cuisines. It’s an easy recipe with a big payoff that takes maybe ten minutes tops to make, the trick is the last minutes are stressful. I always arrive at the dinner table bright red and flustered after making spaeztle.
It’s always a crowd pleaser and worthwhile labor of love at the end though. I particularly love to serve this with my Swedish meatballs. The best part about the stress (and clean up) is that it stops me from making spaetzle all the time because it’s sooo good. I keep this for special, but casual occasions.
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups flour
Prep the dry and wet ingredients separately and mix well individually and then mix together.
You end up with a fairly sticky dough ball.
You can stay at this point for awhile until you are ready to do the last part of your meal, because you’ll want to serve these immediately. But basically once you’re here, you just boil water and then boil the spaetzle for 2-3 minutes and you’re done.
There are many ways to form the spaetzle. Some use a colander, there’s an official tool, or you could cut by hand. I use a potato ricer. It’s easy, you put half the dough in and push it through. Then you put the other half in and push it through. Stirring while it’s all boiling rapidly so it doesn’t clump.
The main thing is, you want something that will create a bunch of individual short noodles. This is the mold for my potato ricer.
You know the spaetzle are done because they float. You may need to remove your first batch before diving your second half of the dough, so have a slotted spoon handy.
This is the tricky part, you’ll be starting and finishing batches of spaetzle simultaneously over boiling water and the dough inevitably gets everywhere, because it’s all over you’re hands. Try to just think of it as a fun part of the experience.
When your spaetzle are out of the water put them in a bowl and use butter or cream to coat the spaetzle to stop them from sticking to each other. Serve immediately.
I served mine under Swedish meatballs and gravy for Christmas Eve dinner at home. It was a huge hit. For Christmas brunch I repurposed the left over spaetzle as mushroom carbonara. This might have been even better than the night before. Everyone got one leftover meatball with breakfast.