At first, I was a bit intimidated in making spaetzle. Nothing could be easier to make. You do not need a spaetzle tool or any fancy special cooking tools. A knife and a cutting board is all you need. Some recipes use a colander and a spoon to press out the spaetzle. This doesn't work that well for me - it has to do with the batter consistency. I just stick with a lightly moist cutting board and a wet knife. I place some batter on the cutting board and cut it thin and drop it into a pot of boiling water. Works great.
The spaetzle is cooked in a boiling pot of water until it rises to the surface and then cooled in an ice-water bath. Drain the spaetzle and blot dry. Cook in some butter, serve and top with some cheese. Delicious.
Note: Spaetzle can be made ahead of time. When you are ready to serve heat it in some butter.
From NYT Cooking School Adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen
5 ounces baby spinach leaves or equivalent quantity of larger leaves
4 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
- Drop spinach leaves into boiling water to blanch, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain spinach and squeeze dry. Put cooked spinach in a blender or food processor with the eggs and yolks and blitz briefly to make a green purée. (Alternatively, finely chop the spinach and stir together with beaten eggs and yolks.)
- Put spinach in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and the pepper. Beat in flour and 3/4 cup cold water to make a wet, sticky batterlike dough. Beat for 5 minutes, until lump free. If the mixture seems too stiff, beat in a few more tablespoons cold water. (If using a spaetzle tool, thin the batter to a more runny consistency.) Leave batter to rest at room temperature, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a large wide pot of well-salted water to a boil. Stand close to the pot with the bowl of dough in one hand and a soup spoon in the other. With the edge of the spoon, grab thin slivers of dough approximately 1 inch long, dropping them one by one into the boiling water. (Cook a dozen or so at a time.) Let the spaetzle cook for 1 minute or so, until they rise to the surface. Remove with a skimmer and immediately cool in ice water. Continue until all batter is used. Drain cooked spaetzle and blot dry. (The recipe may be prepared up to this point several hours before serving.)
- Just before serving, set a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and let it foam, Add cooked spaetzle and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon until heated through and lightly browned. Transfer to a warm serving bowl. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan.
Makes 6 servings