This comfort food dish is truly season-less. It’s the easiest fresh pasta recipe EVER. These little German dumplings, or batter noodles, are cooked in minutes. The noodles can be prepared several hours in advance- finishing the dish by sautéing them with bacon and sage just prior to serving.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I modified the cooking method by using a potato ricer to form the noodles. In addition, I increased the spinach as well as the water in the batter. We ate it as a main dish but it would also be delicious as an indulgent side dish.
Yield: 6 servings
Time: about 1 hour
- 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- coarse salt
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces bacon or pancetta, cut crosswise into thin slices
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
- Drop spinach leaves into boiling water to blanch, about 30 seconds, 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.
- Put spinach purée 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 batter-like dough. Beat for 5 minutes, until lump free. If the mixture seems too stiff, beat in a few more tablespoons cold water. (Because I used a potato ricer, I thinned the batter to a more runny consistency by incorporating an additional 3 T of water.)
- Leave batter to rest at room temperature, covered, for 15 minutes. Prepare an ice-water bath. Place a colander within the ice-water bath.
- Bring a large wide pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Holding the potato ricer over the boiling water, fill it with 1-2 ladles of batter; close and press the batter into the water.
- Let the spaetzle cook for 1 minute or so, until they rise to the surface. Remove with a skimmer and immediately cool in the colander in the ice water. Continue until all batter is used. Drain cooked spaetzle and blot dry. (I placed the spaetzle on a rimmed baking sheet which was lined with several layers of paper-towels.) *Note: 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 bacon and let it render without browning much, about 2 minutes. Pour off fat and leave bacon in pan. (To decrease the mess, I wiped out the fat with paper towels.)
- Add the butter and let it foam, then add sage leaves and let sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Add the cooked spaetzle and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon until heated through and lightly browned.
- Transfer to a warm serving bowl, if desired. Serve immediately with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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I’ve never made spaetzle not sure why it seems so easy. I guess maybe I am not sure what to use to actually make it. I have a food mill but that won’t work the holes are too small. I know they make a device specifically for spaetzle I should get it because this recipe is too good not to make.
There is a video on the NY Times website making spaetzle using a colander! It’s a must try for you Suzanne. 😉
Wow a colander, what a great idea! I bet the fried sage gives this such a wonderful flavor. Another winning recipe!
Thanks again!! 🙂 🙂
I am definitely making this…I was gifted a very old Spaetzle maker several months ago and have yet to use it…now I can…yay! Thanks for sharing, what sounds like, a delicious meal!
No way! What a fabulous gift. This is a good dish for sure. LMK what you think, my friend. 🙂
What an amazing sounding recipe! The color is gorgeous!
Thank you SO very much, Mollie. 🙂 You are too kind to me. It certainly was super tasty comfort food- my fav!
It’s been so long since I last made spaetzle! I love this, it looks so special with the spinach…and then the bacon and sage butter!
I took a cooking class when I was in high school and we made spaetzle by “slicing” drips of batter from the rim of the mixing bowl with a butter knife. It’s good as it uses very minimal equipment (bowl and butter knife!) but I was usually too slow so my spaetzle were a bit large and clumpy. I’ll try the colander next time!
The original instructions for this recipe actually said to make it over the edge of a mixing bowl (using a slightly thicker batter). This potato ricer (or colander) method was ridiculously quick… I don’t think I’d make it another way now!
I love spaetzle, but I never tried it with spinach and sage. That sounds amazing, I must try it 🙂 Thank you!
Thanks, Yana. It was the first time I’d ever tried to make it and I was quite pleased with how easy it was to make! 😉 This was a yummy flavor combination, I hope you try it!
Great recipe – I make regular spaetzle when I am serving a German meal. By the way I use a large hole grater and it works great – no need for another kitchen gadget. Unless of course someone gives me one 🙂
I completely agree, Judi- this deliciousness can be made with gadgets that are already in the kitchen. Your family is lucky- My husband would love it if I made more German food!