As the first major snowstorm of the season hits the east coast, I am grateful to be warm and snug indoors. I am also grateful to be cooking, and spaetzle is the ultimate snowstorm food – easy, cozy, and comforting.
Growing up, my grandma often made us a dish she called “cheese noodles.” It was exactly that: egg noodles with cottage cheese and a bit of butter, similar to the Austrian spaetzle that her mother made from scratch. I never met my great grandmother, but she was known for being an amazing cook and sharing many authentic dishes from her home country of Austria with her family. My mom remembers her spending full days drying out homemade egg noodles on the bed and stretching strudel dough paper thing to fill with apples, sweet cheese, nuts, and cabbage. More on that later.
My mom frequently made frozen spaetzle when I was younger, and I’ve learned, over the years, that it’s actually pretty easy to make from scratch. I love it served simply, with butter, salt and pepper, an ode to my childhood. But feel free to jazz it up with greens, cheese, mushrooms, or meat!
The ingredients are simple, and the spaetzle cooking process comes with the added benefit of an arm workout.
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup half and half (or milk)
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
Place the flour into a bowl and add the eggs and half and half to the center. Mix until it forms a batter.
Place a colander with ¼ inch holes, a large slotted spoon, or a spaetzle board over the pot and press the batter through the holes directly into the boiling water. It helps to slightly wet the dough with the boiling water to help soften it as it moves through the holes.
Cook the noodles until they float to the top, around 4 minutes.
Strain and add butter to prevent them from sticking together.