Once you have tasted Spätzli or Knöpfli or Spatzen, or let me know how you call them :), there is no way back to a life without them! Yet for something so delicious I felt like we don’t eat it often enough. Mainly served with game meat in autumn time or other heavy, creamy dishes in cold summer months this kind of pasta does not show its full potential yet. Why don’t people make them in summer time? Is it just due to tradition or are they simply too heavy?
With this question in mind I approached the project of making Spätzli an all-year-around-dish.
I thought to myself that the dough must become less heavy and dense. The colour green also seems to make people think a dish is lighter and healthier, which is what people prefer to eat in summer time. And what veggie is better to make a dish more green and healthy than spinach? Actually, this green wonder veggie provides you with potassium, calcium, iron as well as carotenoids, folic acid and vitamin C. Thus, yes please to spinach Spätzli :).
And here we go… my first attempt of making Spätzli a summer dish. As usual, you can prepare my recipe 100% gluten free if not stated otherwise. This time 1/3 of the mix is conventional pasta four but it will work just fine if you also replace that with corn, rice or any gluten free four mix. The chickpea and buckwheat flour however should not be replaced since they give the Spätzli their good taste.
Spinach Spätzli recipe:
- 100g pasta flour
- 100g buckwheat flour
- 100g chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- mix in a big bowl or standmixer bowl if you have one
- 3 eggs
- 1dl soy-milk-water (mix 1/2 a dl hot water with 1/2 dl soy milk)
- 1/2 a lemons skin
- pepper & nutmeg
- mix them in a smaller bowl and add them to the flour mix
- add about 2 cups of cooked & shredded spinach (I usually use frozen spinach because I can have it in the freezer at all times and the micronutrient content is higher in the frozen spinach then it is in the one you buy at the shop in plastic bags)
- beat for about 5min and then let rest for at least 30min
When you are ready to make your Spätzli fill a big pot of water about half way full and bring it to a boil. Add salt to the water.
Now we come to the point where some of you might have to be a bit creative. The reason for this is the Spätzli-sieve. Not everyone has one of those as I hear (I certainly couldn’t live without it). Anyway, find something with holes in it about as big as the one in the picture and a flat device like the one in white to push the dough through. Warning: It gets really sticky.
What do I do if I can’t find anything similar like in the picture?
About 2 years ago I wanted to cook spätzli for friends of mine in Norway and they did not have a Spätzli-sieve. However, I tried using a cheese grater to push the dough through… didn’t work so well and in the end I used a plastic bag with a cut of corner to push the dough through. Just use a knife or scissors to cut the dough in small bits as you push it out of the bag. Maybe you can come up with a better idea? Let me know if you do in the comment section!
Once you have worked out a way to get the little buttons of dough into the boiling water you let them boil for about 3-5 min. They will rise to the surface when they are ready. However my dough, which is made from different flours and contains quite a lot of spinach, floats on the surface rather quickly which is why I decided to just leave them in for about 3-5min anyway.
The most efficient way of making the Spätzli is to make a big batch of dough and cook them all. Once floating on the surface remove them from the boiling water and spread them on a baking sheet on a tray to cool out. Then fill them into freezer bags in portions for 2-4 persons and freeze them. Once you want to prepare them defrost the bag and fry the Spätzli in a fry pan with a bit of butter or bake them in your oven. This makes them extra crispy and even more delicious :).
Bon appétit ♥