Spätzle, Spätzli, Chässpätzli, Chnöpfli, Knöpfle, Spatzen… or whatever you might call them. They’re basically a foodie’s dreams (plural) come true. For those who do not know what I’m talking about – “Spätzle who?” – here’s a funny description I found: “a specialty from Southern Germany, made by boiling small lumps of dough made from flour and eggs [cul.]” Since there isn’t any sort of English translation for “Spätzle” – which comes as a bit of a shock! Is it really just such a super local dish, to which the culinary world is oblivious? – this description certainly doesn’t do it justice. Yes, it appears the world hasn’t heard of Spätzle, and F&F is here to change it. Spread the rumors, gals! Spätzle are the next shining star on the culinary horizon.
Originally from Southern Germany, the Germans know best how to prepare the cheesiest Spätzle. Although I might add that I’m not too bad at whipping some up myself ahaha. The secret really is… lots of cheese to make it into a nice “gratin” style Käsespätzle, if you ask me. This comes as a surprise to exactly no one, right? Some like it as a side (instead of noodles or rice) to meat or dressed up with vegs for a “Spätzlepfanne” (one pot). I like my Spätzle best plain and simple, classic with cheese, and on their own. They shouldn’t be outshone by some other dish.
With the super easy device form Betty Bossi – the “Spätzli Blitz” – making Spätzle is now even simpler and can be done in a jiffy (even with a little toddler helper between your legs, wanting to do the egg-cracking and stirring). The instructions are basically written on top of the Spätzli Blitz itself. All you need is: three eggs, milk (add until mark is reached), two types of flours (add until mark is reached) and some salt. Voilà, and you can make the dough for your Spätzle in the same device that you use to “turn them” into the hot water vor cooking. Clever little thing, huh?
We took a spring-time spin on Spätzle and added some greens in the form of Bärlauch* (ramsons / wild garlic). The bright green color and subtle (thanks to pre blanching the Bärlauch leaves) taste it adds to the Spätzle is a fresh take on a classic dish. Read the recipe for more detailed instructions.
Spätzle In A Hurry
Basic Spätzle dough recipe by Betty Bossi // serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main
Spätzli Blitz – or whisk dough by hand and use a Spätzle sieve to turn them into the water
1 1/2 dl milk water (half and half water and milk)
200 g flour
100 g Spätzle flour (durum wheat flour)
1 tsp. salt
1 bunch Bärlauch* plus some more for garnish
500 g Swiss cheeses mix (I used a variety of strong / salty mountain cheeses, but Gruyère, Appenzeller and Emmentaler wold be nice, too)
20 g butter
Veggies to taste / as a side (I used blanched asparagus and quick roasted tomatoes with garlic)
* A note on (substituting) Bärlauch: I love the vivid green color of the Bärlauch Spätzle, but you could also substitute the Bärlauch with spinach. Just proceed in the same way (with fresh spinach) or even use a couple of store-bought, chopped up, frozen “cubes”, defrosted. This pretty much makes it a year-round delight, even outside the very narrow time-frame that is Bärlauch season.
Assemble the Spätzli Blitz and put the bottom lid on the beaker. Quickly blanch the Bärlauch leaves in boiling water, then drain and cool in ice water. Drain and squeeze out excess water, chop roughly. Add eggs and milk water to the beaker. Add the blanched and chopped Bärlauch to the liquid and use a hand mixer to puree the Bärlauch and combine with the liquid. Now add flours and salt to the beaker. Put the cover with the lever on the beaker of the Spätzli Blitz. By pulling the lever up and down for about 1 minute mix the dough thoroughly (this can be done by a toddler). Bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt, abundantly. Also preheat the oven to 200º C, butter a medium sized oven proof dish. Now remove the bottom of the Spätzli Blitz into the simmering water by turning the lever round and round, rather quickly. Let the Spätzle cook in the simmering (not boiling) water until they’re swimming to the top. Which takes between 1-2 minutes only. Remove the Spätzle with a sieve / slotted spoon and transfer them directly to the prepared (buttered) baking dish. Scatter each batch of Spätzle with grated cheese so all the Spätzle are nicely coverd. Bake for about 15 minutes or until everything is heated through, the cheese is melted and a golden-brown crust has formed on the uppermost Spätzle (for me a quality sign to also have some “crunchy” bits). Serve hot, garnished with some (raw) chopped Bärlauch or to your heart’s desire.
Thank you Betty Bossi for sponsoring this post.