I had never made spaetzle before, either fresh or dried. But we visited the German store in downtown Redwood City, and there we found dried spaetzle and had to try it (also beer-stein-shaped pasta, but that’s another recipe!).
So I looked for a tasty-sounding spaetzle recipe and came across this. The good news is that if you don’t have your own dried spaetzle, this’ll walk you through making your own, fresh! The caramelized onions really make the whole thing. I think it would have been rather uninteresting without that delicious umami flavor. Plus it has nutmeg!
- 2 tsp. olive oil (20 ml)
- 1 tsp. butter 9(10 ml)
- 2 medium onions (400 grams) quartered and sliced
Spaetzle – Noodles [I didn’t make these, but I’d like to try it sometime]
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. water (125 ml)
- 2 c. all purpose flour (250 grams)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 oz. (100 grams) Gruyère
- Butter and breadcrumbs for casserole dish
- [I topped with some parsley]
- Start by making the caramelized onions about one hour before the casserole needs to go into the oven. Heat the butter and oil in a non-stick pan on medium, turn heat to low and add onions.
- Stir every few minutes for about an hour, or until onions are lightly browned and sweet enough for your taste. Here is more information on caramelizing onions.
- Turn off heat and set onions aside.
- Place a large pot of water on to boil. You may add salt if you wish, I do not.
- To make the dough, mix the eggs with water and add to the flour and salt.
- Mix or beat for several minutes, or until dough is smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then beat it again.
- Add water or flour to adjust consistency to a thick batter (a little thinner than brownie batter).
- Place half of the dough in the hopper of the Spätzle Maker which is placed over the simmering water. Push and pull the hopper back and forth, creating a dough wave inside the hopper. Little bits of dough are pushed out the other side and drop into the water. They are fatter and more tear drop shaped than the Spätzle you make with a board.
- The noodles will drop to the bottom of the pot, then rise to the surface. Let them sit there for another two or three minutes, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon or small sieve. Rinse briefly in hot water, then drain well and set aside.
- Using the second half of the dough, make another batch of noodles. If the noodles stick to the bottom of the pan, give a quick stir to loosen. They should then rise to the top.
- Butter and line a 1 1/2 – 2 quart casserole dish with bread crumbs (“Paniermehl”).
- When noodles are done, add them to the (cooled) pan with the onions. Add the grated nutmeg and 3/4 of the grated cheese and stir to mix.
- Gruyère cheese can be used, as well as Emmentaler or Raclette, but any smooth melting, slightly stinky cheese can be substituted as long as you like it.
- Spoon noodles into casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, covered, at 350ºF for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 15 minutes. If you like, brown the cheese topping with the broiler during the last 5 minutes.
–Recipe courtesy Jennifer McGavin at about.com.