Deutsch: Spätzle / Español: Spaetzle / Português: Spaetzle / Français: Spaetzle / Italiano: Spaetzle

Spätzle/Spaetzle is a traditional type of soft egg noodle or dumpling originating from the regions of Southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Alsace. They are known for their distinctive irregular shape and tender texture, making them a popular side dish in Central European cuisine.

Description

Spaetzle dough is made from a simple mixture of eggs, flour, salt, and often a little water or milk. The dough is then pushed through a Spaetzle maker, a colander, or even by hand with a board and knife into boiling water where it cooks until the noodles float to the surface, indicating they are done. Spaetzle can be served plain, sautéed in butter, or used as a base in dishes similar to pasta.

Application Areas

Spaetzle is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes:

  • As a Side Dish: Often served with meat dishes that have a sauce, such as Sauerbraten (marinated roast beef) or Gulasch (meat stew).
  • In Casseroles: Mixed with ingredients like cheese, vegetables, and meats to make hearty dishes.
  • As a Main Course: Can be the main focus of a meal, especially when combined with rich ingredients like mushrooms, cream, or cheese.

Well-Known Examples

One of the most famous dishes featuring Spaetzle is "Käsespätzle," which is Spaetzle mixed with layers of grated cheese and topped with fried onions, often described as the German version of macaroni and cheese.

Recipes

Basic Spaetzle Recipe: Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or water
  • Salt to taste
  • Nutmeg (optional, for extra flavor)

Instructions:

  1. Make the Dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, eggs, milk (or water), and a pinch of salt. Beat until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain. If desired, add a pinch of nutmeg.
  2. Boil Water: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Form Spaetzle: Place a Spaetzle maker or a large colander over the pot and push the batter through the holes, dropping the Spaetzle into the boiling water. If you don’t have these tools, you can also cut small pieces of dough and drop them into the water.
  4. Cook: Cook the Spaetzle for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the surface. Remove them with a slotted spoon.
  5. Serve: Optionally, sauté the cooked Spaetzle in butter until lightly golden. Serve warm.

Similar Terms

Spätzle also known as Spatzen refers to Swabian noodles.

Summary

Spaetzle is a beloved staple in many Central European kitchens, cherished for its simplicity and versatility. Whether served as a side, incorporated into a casserole, or enjoyed as a main dish, Spaetzle offers a delightful, comforting presence at any meal.

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