Noodling around with spaetzle

Spaetzle is a specialty of Swabia. The simple noodle dish is identical to the galuska served in Hungary.


4 cups flour
5 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste Freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups milk

Mix all ingredients together to make a very soft dough. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. (One recipe suggested adding a tablespoon of oil or shortening to the water to prevent the spaetzle from sticking together.)
Force dough through spaetzle maker, dropping into pot. Reduce boiling water to low heat. When spaetzle swim on top, the noodles are cooked.
(Recipes I received estimated cooking times from 5 to 13 minutes). Remove with a streiner.

Spaetzle on the side:
As a side dish, spaetzle is often tossed with butter and topped with bread crumbs. A german restaurant I go to has used a recipe from a 1981 Gourmet magazine: Saute 1 cup of fresh white bread crumbs in 6 tablespoons unsalted butter over moderately high heat, stirring until golden brown. In a large skillet, heat the spaetzle in 1/4 cup unsalted butter over moderate heat, tossing until heated through. Transfer spaetzle to heated serving bowl and sprinkle with buttered crumbs.
I also season it with a bit of grated swiss cheese.