German Spaetzle – My Grandma’s Recipe
Sharing my grandma’s german spaetzle recipe with a healthier twist but same great flavor. A light egg noodle with fresh herbs and lemon.
I didn’t really learn to cook when I was very young. I don’t have any cool stories about standing on a wooden chair next to my grandpa learning how to prepare homemade bread from scratch. My mom was a great cook, but she worked nights so she made our dinners while we were in school and then we just heated them up when it was time for dinner.
I actually didn’t really enjoy cooking until I was in my late twenties. So when I learned that the theme for this month’s The Recipe Redux post is to share a healthy recipe about one of my “earliest cooking recollections”, I didn’t immediately know what I was going to write about.
I don’t have a lot of early memories about cooking but Spaetzle is the family recipe that gets passed on from generation to generation.
My grandma (hi Oma) is from Germany and luckily for us, she is a fantastic cook. One of my favorite recipes of hers is Spaetzle. Spaetzle is a tiny type of egg noodle that is a traditional dish in Germany. Everyone in my family learns how to make spaetzle when they get old enough to boil water. My sisters and I all have our own spaetzle makers and even have our grandma’s recipe framed on our walls. It’s served at every holiday function and is a staple in our family.
One of the reasons I like spaetzle so much is that it’s so simple to make. Just combine the 4 ingredients together to for the dough, boil a pot of water, slide the dough through a spaetzle maker over the water and viola! A spaetzle maker looks like a flat cheese grater with a small square piece on top that slides back and forth. You put the dough in the square and as you slide it across the “grater” tiny noodles fall thru into the boiling water. If you don’t have a spaetzle maker, you can press the dough through a colander and it works just as well.
Our family typically serves Spaetzle with brown gravy on top. It’s not the healthiest of dishes but the spaetzle itself isn’t too bad nutrition-wise. It’s a simple dish, made with just flour, egg, water and a bit of salt. I kept the basic recipe the same for this post but instead of drowning it in gravy, I sautéed it in olive oil and then topped it with some chopped parsley and lemon zest. Oma probably won’t approve, but it actually turned out fantastic. Slightly crispy from the olive oil and a fresh, light taste from the herbs and lemon. I will admit that I tried using whole wheat flour for this recipe and it turned out much too dense for my liking.
What is your earliest cooking memory? Share in the comments below and feel free to read all my fellow Recipe Redux-ers cooking memories by clicking on the links below.
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- 1 cup Flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup water, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- Combine flour, egg, water and salt into a bowl. Consistency of dough should be similar to pancake batter. If need, add more water
- Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove
- Place spaetzle maker (see note below) on top of pot and add to dough directly to square part of spaetzle maker
- Slowly run dough filled square back and forth across spaetzle maker and dough will form tiny noodles that fall into pot of water
- Cook spaetzle for about 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a pan on the stove
- Once spaetzle are done boiling, use a slotted spoon to remove from water and place directly in pan with hot oil
- Lightly brown spaetzle for 2 minutes and transfer to plate or bowl
- Top with fresh herbs and lemon zest