Spätzle are fabulous. Some call it Spatzn, some Spätzele, but where I am from they are called Spätzle. And baked with cheese and loads of onions? German Kässpätzle- even better and my absolute soul food.
And those are definitely the next level of Spätzle. It’s like the German version of the American Mac and Cheese. Well, that’s how I sell it to my American friends who never had them before. And so far no one complained and everyone fell in love with them.
There are a few local differences on Kässpätzle though- or shall I better call it adjustments? Like in Austria, they serve Kässpätzle with apple sauce. I tried it, it’s good but even that I love apple sauce, not my cup of tea. In the Allgäu in Germany they make Knöpfle, which are basically Baby Spätzle.
But back when I was a kid we ate them with ketchup (busted- I still sometimes do that, please don’t tell anyone!) but one thing you definitely should eat with it is a green salad with a vinegar and oil dressing. The acidity from the vinegar balances the whole meal and as an added Bonus, you will not feel so stuffed afterwards as they are pretty heavy.
The secret for German Kässpätzle
One of the secrets for proper Kässpätzle is the cheese, though. Again, every family has their own ratio / cheese preference. And this means serious business to some! In my family, we use a mixture of Emmentaler cheese and a very tasty Bergkäse, like a Swiss Gruyère. It needs if for the flavor. What you can also do is to grate and freeze leftover cheeses and therefore create your own special cheese mix! Try it, it’s definitely worth it!
There are also some discussions if you should buy a special Spätzle flour – you don’t have to. I use a normal flour and for the bite I add semolina. And that works perfectly for me.
When I make German Kässpätzle, I always make double the amount of Spätzle. Always. As they are perfect to freeze in portions and you can also use them as a side for a Lentil stew with spätzle or just serve a simple creamy chicken stir-fry with it. They are sooo versatile and perfect as aside dish as well. Here you find my basic recipe for Spätzle.
I use a spätzle maker for it- you can also use a wooden board and a wet knife to make your own spätzle. But you can also buy in a lot of grocery stores now ready-made spätzle. Mostly they are not that bad actually. And I do buy them sometimes as well, especially when I know I have a busy week ahead. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a shortcut occasionally. But be warned-when you make your own Spätzle, it’s hard to go back to the store bought Spätzle.
Whichever way you do it, make sure you have a date with the couch afterwards as the German Kässpätzle are filling! But so worth it
love sabrina x
A classic Swabian cuisine soul food!moderate
- 30 minutes
- 1 hours
- 1 hours 30 minutes
|tsp salt and some extra
|tsp ground nutmeg
|splash sparkling water
|grated cheese—I prefer Emmentaler and Bergkäse or a Gruyère
|onions – medium sice
|Tbsp sunflower oil
Steps of preparation
- Add the eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and stir to combine.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes- your Spätzle will be brighter in yellow later
- Add the flour, semolina, and ground nutmeg, attach a dough hook to the stand mixer and “knead” the dough for 5 minutes until the flour is “worked in the dough”
- Add a dash of sparkling water and beat for a little longer
- Use a wooden spoon to scoop and pull the dough. If bubbles appear, the dough is ready
- The dough needs to be quite thick and traditionally, it was cut in the water via a wooden cutting bard and a knife.
- Let the dough rest, and in the meantime continue with your recipe.
- Bring a big pot with salted water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
- Peel your onions and slice them in thin slices.
- Using a Spätzle maker – I use a “Spätzle Schwob”- press the noodles into the simmering water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles float to the top.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the noodles to a sieve. Repeat the process until all the dough is used.
- Transfer the Spätzle after every round of cooking with a good splash of the cooked water in an ovenproof ceramic dish and add the grated cheese to it. Mix everything and repeat this process until your ovenproof dish is full
- Place the Spätzle in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, which should take roughly 15-20 minutes.
- Bring a pan to high heat and add the oil while the Spätzle are in the oven.
- Brown the onions in the oil, stirring them occasionally. They need to be cooked soft and have a bit of colour.
- When the Kässpätzle are done, take them out of the oven—careful hot-add a pinch of salt & some cracked pepper and add the browned onions on top.
- Serve immediately with a side salad.