Spaetzle are tiny dumplings. The name literally means “little sparrow” in German, and with a bit of imagination, these pea-sized dumplings do, indeed, look like tiny birds. The traditional recipe for spaetzle is loaded with eggs and butter. This low-fat version omits the yolks and generously uses fresh herbs for flavor and richness. It goes particularly well with meat and poultry dishes made with sauces.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 2 egg whites
- 1 whole egg (or 2 more whites)
- 1 cup skim milk
- ½ cup minced fresh herbs (basil, oregano, tarragon, thyme, chervil, chives, and/or flat-leaf parsley)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups flour (approximately)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
1. Combine the egg whites, egg, milk, 6 tablespoons herbs, salt (I use 1 scant teaspoon), pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Sift in the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon to obtain a loose, sticky batter. (It should be the consistency of apple sauce. If it’s too thin, add a little flour.)
2. Bring at least 2 quarts water to a rolling boil in a large, deep saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Place a spaetzle maker over the pan, load it with dough, and cut tiny droplets into the water. Cook for 1 minute, or until the water returns to a boil and the spaetzle rise to the surface. Remove the spaetzle with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to a colander to drain. Continue cooking the spaetzle in this fashion until all the batter is used up.
Transfer the spaetzle to a bowl and toss with the olive oil (if using). Sprinkle with the remaining herbs and serve at once.
© 2003, 2010 Steven Raichlen
The easiest way to make spaetzle is to use a spaetzle maker.
190 Calories; 8g Protein; 2g Fat; 34g Carbohydrate; 319mg Sodium; 36mg Cholesterol