How to Make Spätzle (aka Spaetzle) – Little Sparrows for Big Meat

Apparently “Spätzle” translates to “little sparrows” in German, which makes a lot of sense when you consider their shape. What doesn’t make sense is why these micro-dumplings are also called “spaetzle.” Is it an alternate spelling? A different recipe? I’m hoping maybe some of our German foodwishers can clear this up.

Since my favorite German restaurant calls this stuff spätzle, that’s what I went with, and they are as easy to make, as they are hard to correctly pronounce. You only need a few ingredients, all of which you generally have on hand at all times, and they take just minutes to cook.

Once boiled, you can toss in butter like I did, or sauce them any way you’d sauce similarly shaped pasta. While wonderful served as-is, they make the perfect side dish to any large hunk of slowly braised meat. I paired mine with a pork shoulder stewed in hard cider, and it was amazing.

I thought I’d posted a video for that, but it was actually a cider-braised pork cheeks recipe I was thinking of, which would work perfectly here. So, I may have to do a braised pork shoulder after all. In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll have little trouble figuring out what to serve yours with, and I really do hope you give this Spätzle recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 2 portions:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more to adjust
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon cream fraiche, sour cream, or yogurt
3 tablespoons milk

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