Spaetzle is a type of noodle made from flour, salt, water and eggs. While it is enjoyed in Austria, Switzerland (knoepfle), Hungary (nokedli), and other parts of Eastern Europe, spaetzle’s roots are in southeastern Germany, in the region of Swabia, which includes the state of Baden-Württemberg and part of the state of Bavaria.
The dough for spaetzle is softer and wetter than Italian pasta, so it can’t be rolled or shaped; instead, small pieces are extruded through a press (“Spätzlepresse”) or scraped off of a spaetzle board (“Spätzlebrett”) into simmering water. Of course, the easiest way to prepare spaetzle is to purchase it ready-made—all you have to do is cook it.
Spaetzle is usually eaten as a side dish, but as the following recipes demonstrate, it can also be the foundation of a delicious salad or entree.
Spinach spaetzle are a perfect side dish for venison, or any other roast meat. Recipe from Peter Schaffrath, Executive Chef, Hay Adams Hotel, Washington, D.C.
A novel presentation of German flavors of red cabbage, spaeztle, and Cambozola blue veined cheese, this nutritious and elegant dish could be a vegetarian entree for a holiday meal.
Cheese Spaetzle (Käsespätzle)
This dish of spaetzle with Emmentaler cheese and crisply fried onions is typical of the Baden-Wüerttemberg region of Germany.
Double-smoked bacon, Black Forest ham and Emmental cheese make this casserole a complete meal in itself. Fresh chives and parsley add color and depth.
This simple side dish is brightened with cherry tomatoes and peas.
A German East-West dish that’s great as a side or salad entree.
A colorful dish that’s pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds, this is German comfort food: spaetzle with ham, red onions, Emmenthaler cheese and wilted mache salad greens.