Saturday, June 5, 2010

Spätzle with Caramelized Onions, Basil and Mozzarella

We spent some time in Germany a couple weeks back visiting some friends and had some amazing German meals.  One of my favorite dishes from Germany is spätzle, which is a type of egg pasta.  What is special about spätzle is that it doesn't really have a strictly defined shape, but rather its own shaping style.  This is hard to see if you buy the dried, mass-produced spätzle from the store, but if you watch a professional (e.g. a German grandmother - unfortunately I did not get to witness this, but Becky did), it will all make sense.  Spätzle isn't a "dry" dough pasta like that of many Italian styles, but rather more of a thick batter style.  If you have a spätzle making utility, you can use that to shape the noodles.  Otherwise I would suggest the German grandmother way of using a potato ricer.

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • Butter
  • 1 small bunch basil, finely chopped
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, chopped
  1. Start by caramelizing the onions in a small pan.  These will take a while so you can proceed with the spätzle-making in the meantime.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, eggs and milk together.  This should form a thick batter.
  3. Heat a large pot of water to boiling.
  4. Place a portion of the dough/batter into the potato ricer squeeze it into the pot of boiling water.  The spätzle will probably stick together, but you can break it apart in the pot after it has cooked for a couple minutes or so.
  5. The spätzle will rise to the top of the pot when it is fully cooked.  Transfer the cooked spätzle to a colander to drain the excess water, then to a large bowl with a bit of butter to prevent the pasta from sticking together.  Do this until all of the dough/batter has been spätzle-ized.
  6. When the onions are nice and caramelized, toss the spätzle into a pot on medium-low heat with the basil and mozzarella.
  7. Mix gently until the cheese is melted and fully incorporated.
  8. To serve, layer the onions on top of a generous helping of cheesy spätzle.  Sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top with a few small basil leaves.
  9. Guten Appetit!


  1. MMmmmmmm! Spatzle AND caramelized onions, how totally yummy. I think I actually like Spatzle better than gnocchi, but don't tell my sister that.

  2. Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! I love spätzle. I remember being in Germany when I was little and watching my brother eat 3 big bowls of it. Tasty stuff.