Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Herbed Spätzle - And a Marble Cake in a Weck Jar - "Kräuterspätzle - Und Mamorkuchen im Weck Glas"

Different recipes for Spätzle (a type of egg noodle of soft texture) can be found in the cuisines of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Alsace and South Tyrol. In Germany, Spätzle are largely considered a "Swabian speciality" and are generally associated with the German states of Baden-Wuerttemberg (“Baden-Württemberg”) and Bavaria (“Bayern”). The word “Spätzle” is the Swabian diminutive of “Spatz”, literally meaning "little sparrow”.

Basic Spätzle dough typically consists of very few ingredients namely, eggs, flour, and salt. Sometimes water or milk is added to produce a thinner dough. Traditionally, the Spätzle are made by scraping dough off a wooden chopping board ("Spätzlebrett") into boiling salted water where they are cooked until they rise to the surface. They are then skimmed and kept warm. Since this traditional method requires quite some practice, a number of different devices were invented to facilitate the Spätzle making process. Some resemble a strainer/colander, or a potato ricer ("Spätzlepresse"), a food mill or a coarse grater ("Spätzlehobel"). Whichever method you choose, all of these devices still require you to drop the dough into steaming hot water.

Herbed Spätzle – „Kräuterspätzle“

(serves two – double or triple if you please)

2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chives
1 tbsp fresh thyme
200 grams AP flour
some fine sea salt
4 eggs (L)
100 ml olive oil
80 grams of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
60ml homemade chicken stock (or store bought low-salt chicken broth)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
some freshly ground black pepper

Special Equipment

A spätzle maker (“Spätzlehobel”), a potato ricer, a food mill or a colander with 1/4 inch holes


1. Wash the herbs, dry well and put half of the parsley aside.
2. Chop the remaining herbs finely.
3. In large bowl combine the flour, chopped herbs and a pinch of salt.
4. With a wooden spoon stir the eggs into the dry ingredients and continue stirring until the batter becomes homogenous.
5. Cover the dough with saran wrap and let it rest for about thirthy minutes at room temperature.
6. Heat the olive ol in a pan and briefly fry the remaining parsley. Let it drain on paper towels and set aside.
7. After the batter had time to rest, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Place rimmed baking sheet close by.
8. Working with 1/2 cup batter at a time and using flexible rubber spatula, press spaetzle batter through 1/4-inch-wide holes of spaetzle maker or colander.
9. Boil until the spaetzle rise to the surface. Using skimmer, lift the spaetzle from the pot. Drain and place on a baking sheet.
10. Continue until there is no more batter left.
12. In a large skillet bring the stock to a simmer over medium-high heat and stir in the ice-cold and cubed butter until the sauce starts to thicken.
11.  Add the parmigiano and the spaetzle and stir gently until heated through.
12.  Season with some freshly ground pepper and serve adding a few fried parsley leaves as a finishing touch.

You can serve the Herbed Spätzle on their own, with a mixed salad or alongside sausages, chicken or some pork schnitzel. For the pork schnitzel I use pork tenderloin cut into medallions, dusted with flower and coated with eggs mixed with Dijon mustard and homemade bread crumbs. I fry the schnitzel in some oil and serve them with lemon wedges and some Dijon mustard.

Spätzle are always a big hit at our house, whether I make the herbed version, the regular version, with some swiss cheese and spinach or lightly fried in butter. Just make sure to rinse off your cooking utensils immediately after cooking. First rinse with cold than with warm water, otherwise the remains of the batter “will turn into cement” as one of my favorite cooks once said.

And for dessert why don´t you try baking your favorite Marble Cake recipe in a Weck jar…

…and do not forget to drizzle some chocolate over the finished cake. Baking in Weck jars of different sizes works very well and is a lot of fun.The cake always stays moist and has a nice rustic look, just the right dessert for a spaetzle and schnitzel dinner!

Guten Appetit! -  Enjoy!


  1. Thank you for the spaetzle tutorial and recipe. Sounds like something I might tackle this Winter, huh? Weck jars, from everything I read, seem to be the Gold Standard in canning jars. I just received Marisa McClellan's "Food in Jars" , all about preserving in small batches. My question, now that I know about Weck, can I ever return to Ball or Kerr?

    1. Mary, you can use Ball or Kerr or Weck - it does not really matter, it is just that Weck is so widely available around here and quite fashionable right now for serving everything from appetizers and dips to cakes, muffins and soup - the uses are endless. Personally, I love to use them whenever I can and I own way too many!

  2. Love Spaetzle, but have never made it! Yours looks so wonderful and you make it sound so easy…my grandmother was Hungarian and made noodles in a very similar way! A good project! I have never thought to bake in a canning jar…such a lovely presentation!! Gorgeous photos!!

    1. Thank you, Kathy - yes, indeed Spaetzle are so easy to make (once you have a whee bit of practice) and we love to eat them in all kinds of different versions. And spooning a cake out of a Weck jar was met with some laughter at the table...of course, in a good way, the kids adored this version of my Marble Cake.

  3. Your spaetzle sound delicious. My husband and I travel to Austria and Germany each year...will be there this fall. I love how light some of the spaetzle that I have had is but I have never had your version made with the herbs.

    1. Thank you so much, Herbed Spaetzle are a nice variation on the main theme, they taste great and help me reduce my abundant herb growth in my garden by a least a bit!

      Thank you also for visiting my blog! Have a great weekend!

  4. I just got a spätzlebrett and my Mother and I have used it once. But we didn't oil it. Should we oil our board just like any other cutting board?

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It sounds delicious and I am going to try it myself before I introduce it to my Mother. My Dad is Italian and doesn't care much for spätzle but he might like this recipe.

    1. Thanks for your very lovely comment and for visiting my blog! According to my favorite Chef of all times, a Swabian Spätzle cook extraordinaire, you do not need to oil your Spätzlebrett prior to using it - while you "cut" the Spätzle into the boiling water, you have to wet the wooden board with the cooking water, that´s all.
      Hope that helps, if you havé any other questions, let me know!