ffwd: herb-speckled spaetzle

Spaetzle with Mushrooms

Spaetzle. Before this week, I’d heard of but never seen or eaten spaetzle, let alone made it. However, for over 20 years, I’ve been the proud owner of a Spaetzle Maker. It’s spent most of that time in my basement, never seeing the light of the kitchen. This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is for Herb-Speckled Spaetzle. It seems that spaetzle and I will finally make each other’s acquaintance in 2013.


You might wonder why I would have this gadget in my basement for so long and never actually used it. Good question. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a pack rat. (To my sisters, if you are reading this, hold your comments, please…) More importantly, the spaetzle maker was a wedding shower gift from my mother who had just moved to Germany, Sankt Leon-Rot, just south of Heidelberg, to be more exact. (She lived there for 3 years before returning to the U.S.) Sharing a bit of German culinary culture was the perfect gift. However, not having any connection to German culinary culture and never having had spaetzle before, I wasn’t in a big hurry to try it. As with so many other things, I got distracted and forgot about it.

The dumpling dough mixed together easily with pantry ingredients. For herbs, I used what I always think of as the Simon and Garfunkel quartet: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Corny, I know.

The dough was like an extra thick pancake batter. In batches, I squeezed the dough through my spaetzle meister, which was like a big potato ricer with funny shaped holes like squiggly lines into a pot of boiling water.

Squeezing Spaetzle

In the pot, the dough blobs grew. The process felt a bit awkward. I have no idea whether my dough was the right consistency, whether my spaetzles are the right shape, or if there was some kind of technique I need to master. With no point of comparison, the end result seemed to come out fine. (German friends, please advise.)

Spaetzle a-Boil

Finally, for this recipe, you make a mushroom sauce which turns the spaetzle into a meal. I followed the recipe closely, though I used a red onion and cremini mushrooms to add some color. The recipe said it made 2 main-course servings. I don’t know who was doing the eating, but the two of us ate hearty portions for two separate meals, so this easily made 4 main-course servings. Crazy!

Spaetzle and Salad

I don’t know why I waited over 21 years to use my spaetzle maker. This was a definite hit. Dinner conversation revolved around what other kinds of sauces we could use when we make this again. Last year, when I was reading Melissa Clark’s In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite, she wrote about spaetzle. She mixes in caramelized onions and greens, then tops it all with cheese before baking it. Dorie’s recipe was good, but that sounds even better, like a German-style mac and cheese. Can’t wait to try it Melissa’s way next!

If you’ve never had spaetzle before, you need to make it right away: today, or at least this week. Dorie’s recipe can be found here on Epicurious. To see how my blogger friends enjoyed their spaetzle experiences, check out their links here.


Posted on 4 January 2013, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Can’t wait to make this tonight with a lamb roast! I might skip the mushroom sauce, or I might not….We go to this big German buffet once every year and the spaetzle are always my favorite thing!

  2. How funny, this could be my post. Except that I’ve only had my unused spaetzle gadget for 10 years. Used the same quartet of spices with the same thoughts. Your spaetzle looks perfect. Enjoyed your post.

  3. Clearly, I need a spaetzle maker. I liked the dish, but I did not like making it. And knowing that there are so many other ways to have spaetzle seems like a good enough reason to get a meister. Your spaetzle looks terrific!

  4. I love that you had a spaetzle maker in your basement for 20 years…how funny! Your spaetzle looks perfect to me! I really enjoyed this dish, too! Great post!

  5. So I’m sure I would’ve had success with this if I had found a spaetzle maker in my basement! Great story.

  6. Your spaetzle turned out great looking. Mine look like misshapen dumplings. Oh well!

  7. Thanks for the great post! I’m sure most of us have some kind of gadget or tool that we’ve bought, never used, but nevertheless have hopefully kept! So happy that you had the chance to use your.

    Like you, this is not something I’ve had more than once or twice. Thanks for providing the tips. I’m about to start mine. I might just change things a bit based on your experience. We’ll see how it goes!!

  8. Good for you for holding on to that spaetzel press! It sure made the preparation a LOT easier. I actually think yours are the perfect length…mine were too long, but still darn tasty :)

  9. Yum! I am reading your post at bedtime and thinking about the leftover spaetzle in my fridge. I might break my habit of a lifetime and go get a midnight snack. Seriously, the spaetzle was really good, wasn’t it? I had the same reaction of, why haven’t I made this sooner?

    • Midnight snack? I’m reading all these posts and wish I still had leftovers. Alas, all my spaetzle is gone. I might have to make it again next week, or this weekend!

  10. That’s the great thing about FFWD – getting to use those random kitchen tools that would otherwise go unused! Yours looks delicious!

  11. Your spaetzle looked as though it turned out perfectly! I didin’t even know what a spaetzle maker looked like, so thanks for the photos.

  12. Very jealous of your proper looking spaetzle and your gadget! Want!

  13. I love that you dug out the 20 year spaetzle maker :-) That’s awesome.

  14. Betsy, perfectly looking Spätzle – respect – honestly , they look just utterly delicious! Do not worry about runny dough, just add some flour if you find it too difficult to work with and let the dough rest some before proceeding – in my experience the noodles will always be delicious (runny dough or not).
    Have a great weekend!

  15. So that’s what a spaetzle-maker looks like! I was surprised at the quantity this recipe produced, too. We’re still working our way through the leftovers – I’m thinking that the mac and cheese idea sounds like a good one for tonight’s dinner.

  16. Hubby and I had more than one meal out of this too. It was certainly delicious.
    Glad you found your spaetzle maker, it certainly did a wonderful job. Happy New Year.

  17. Melissa’s recipe does sound wonderful! It definitely looks that the spaetzle press is the way to go. I need to get a proper potato ricer before I even go there. Great job this week, Betsy!

  18. Yeah, one must have that spaetzle making gadget to have real success with this one. Your dish looks scrumptious!

  19. My neighbor talks of making spaetzle! Since I haven’t been able to do much ‘Dorie-ing’ lately I will forward the recipe to her to do. Looks great!

  20. It seems somehow wrong that you have a spaetzle maker and I don’t. In truth, my german husband hates spaetzle. I still need to catch up with this one though so now I’m poking around to see how everyone else fared. Your dish looks perfect!

  1. Pingback: ffwd – herb-speckled spaetzle | dulceshome

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