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Cheesy, delicious käsespätzle is the exquisite German version of Mac n’ cheese. These noodles are special though. You can make them yourself just before turning them into the most flavorful cheesy pasta dish you’ve ever tasted. The only trick to making these noodles is forming them, which is super easy if you have the right tools. You can purchase a spätzle maker for under $15 that can make the process a breeze. All you need, really, is a plate with large colander-like holes and a wide scraper to essentially force dough into noodle shapes through the grate into boiling water below. You can use a colander, a large-holed cheese grater or an old-fashioned steamer rack, and a kitchen scraper or wide spatula.
These yummy spätzle egg noodles—with their herby and creamy goodness—cook in just a few minutes. Then we pile layers of the delicious, soft and fluffy noodles with layers of rich Emmentaler and Gruyere cheeses and then top with crispy onions. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes and then watch your loving handiwork devoured in less time than it takes to say, “Dinner’s ready!” Or lunch…or breakfast.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and wisk them until lightly beaten.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk salt into flour to thoroughly combine.
Slowly pull flour down from the sides, mixing it in with the eggs, milk and herbs. Continue mixing until your dough is firm and smooth. If dough is runny, add small amounts of flour (1 tablespoon at a time) and mix in. If dough is dry, mix in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until dough is moist and pulls away from edges of the bowl.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or clean tea towel and set aside for 10 minutes.
In a large pot, add 2 – 3 quarts water and add a couple pinches of salt. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Transfer a portion of the dough into a wide holed colander, rigid steamer rack or spätzle maker. Hold the spätzle maker of your choice over the pot and scrape dough across the holes, forcing bits of dough into the boiling water below. You can use a kitchen scraper or wide spatula to slide back and forth across the top of the dough, pressing while you cross over the holes.
Boil the noodles until they float to the top, and then use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove floating noodles and place them in a colander for draining.
Continue cooking the remainder of your dough, transferring all into the standing colander.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Chop the chives.
Grate the cheeses.
Peel and finely slice the onion.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour and salt. Add onions and toss in salted flour to coat all slices.
Heat butter over medium-high in skillet. Add coated onion and sauté until crispy and golden brown (about 15 – 20 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Lightly grease a casserole dish with butter. Pour ½ of the spätzle into a single layer in the casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle ½ of the grated cheese over your pasta in an even layer. Make another layer of spätzle and cheese. Top with crispy onions. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and beginning to bubble (about 20 – 30 minutes).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Optionally garnish with a sprig or two of fresh parsley.