Spaetzle, pronounced 'spetch-lay' is Germany's answer to Macaroni. These pasta-like noodles are made by pushing fresh dough through a colander, where it drops into boiling water, forming funny worm shaped dumplings, which are then fried in butter.
You can have it with literally anything. Drop a handful into chicken soup, or serve it with stews or meatballs. The recipe below uses peas, cheese and browned butter and is a bit like a warm pasta salad. And quite delicious it is.
Spaetzle with Peas and Brown Butter (serves one very hungry person as a main)
Cooking Time: 15mins
You will need:
For the spaetzle
- 140g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 180ml milk
- a good grating of nutmeg
For the brown butter peas:
- 50g unsalted butter
- a handful of frozen peas
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- a lot of Parmesan or pecorino
- a smattering of chopped dill or parsley
- 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
- Season the flour generously with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Make a well in the centre, break the egg in and mix it into the flour, adding the milk little by little, beating it all so you get a smooth batter.
- Hold your colander (preferably with large holes) over a pan of salty boiling water, and push the batter through with a spatula to help you, so it drops in the water.
- Cook the dumplings for no more than two minutes, then drain.
- Heat a pan with the butter and, stirring constantly, allow the butter to become a light brown colour. Transfer the browned butter to a heatproof dish and add another small nob of butter back to the pan. Throw in your spaetzle and fry until they have a bit of colour.
- Throw in the peas, chopped spring onion and lemon zest.
- Season with salt and pepper before returning the browned butter to the pan with a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and herbs.