Spätzle with caramelized onions and pancetta

A happy new year to you all, may it be filled with great moments, great adventure and even greater food!

I started my year pretty well – it involved a big plate of homemade Spätzle, one of my favourite German comfort foods off all time! I know, I know, my Luxembourgish compatriotes will shout out “what about Kniddelen?! Why make Spätzle when you could eat Kniddelen (Luxembourgish boiled dumplings, a bit like big Spätzle – delicious)”. Well, I have a pretty good reason… using one of my Christmas presents!

See, for Christmas, my mum gave me a Spätzle hobel – a specialized instrument used to create perfect little Spätzle. Imagine a cheesegrater with a little square compartment on top, into which you put the Spätzle dough, then ‘grate’ it through the little holes, so that the Spätzle fall directly into boiling water. Pretty clever, ey?

Mum’s reasoning behind this original gift was that from now on, I wouldn’t have to smuggle bags of fresh Spätzle into the UK anymore (yes, my secret past as a noodle-bootlegger is now uncovered) – instead, I could make them myself!

So, first thing back in London, I had a go at it… And boy, did they turn out great! At first it was a bit messy, the dough was very sticky and ended up clogging the holes instead of falling through – I was covered in sticky, uncooked Spätzle dough and was shouting at the recipe that came with the Spätzle hobel. Then, I took a deep breath, decided to ditch their recipe and just add more water to it – and this time it worked. So, lesson learned: don’t always trust recipes, be creative and make your own damn Spätzle instead of smuggling them in!

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January 9, 2013