Cheese Spaetzle, the German version of a mac and cheese!
If you have visited Germany before, then you surely must have seen or even tasted Spaetzle before. Those delicious egg noodles – with or without cheese, you can find them everywhere!
You can spell it in a few ways, the pronunciation stays the same: Spaetzle or Spätzle, that is the egg noodle.
Add cheese and you get cheese Spaetzle: Käsespätzle or Kaesespaetzle in German.
Is Spaetzle Austrian or German?
It is a quintessential Swabian comfort food.
These famous German egg noodles come from the Baden-Württemberg region of southwest Germany. This area is also known as Schwabenland, or Swabia.
But you can for sure find them in other countries and regions nearby such as southern Germany and Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Alsace, Moselle and South Tyrol area.
Why does Spaetzle start with a capital?
In German all nouns start with a capital letter.
What is Spaetzle made of?
Spaetzle is a classic German egg noodle type of pasta that has a slightly chewy texture.
The short noodles are made from a runny batter of eggs, all-purpose flour and milk or water.
This batter is then dropped into boiling water where it solidifies into noodles like bits. That is why fresh Spaetzle get their irregular shape from.
You can find fresh Spaetzle everywhere, however since it needs to be kept refrigerated it would not have survived our 2 day car ride back home.
How is Spaetzle different from pasta?
Fresh pasta is made out of a heavier dough and consists of flour and eggs.
You need to knead it and roll it out into the shape you want.
To make fresh Spaetzle, mix flour, eggs and milk into a light batter and boil it in hot water.
What do you eat Spaetzle with?
You can eat cheese Spaetzle as a main dish like a cheese pasta.
Or serve the boiled Spaetzle as a side dish for meat dishes such as beef goulash, a schnitzel, roasted goose or duck, sauerbraten roast or bratwurst sausages.
It can also be a dessert, pan fry the boiled Spaetzle in some butter until golden and sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with fruit compote.
Our recipe is for a plain and simple cheese Spaetzle made in a saucepan.
However Spaetzle is often oven baked as well, with or without cheese.
What cheese do you need for cheese Spaetzle?
The cheeses that are used the most are Emmentaler, Gruyère or a mixture of the two.
Cheese Spaetzle with caramelised onions
Ingredients for 2 people
- 1 lb (450 g) fresh Spaetzle or 10,5 oz (300 g) dry egg Spaetzle
- 5,5 oz (200 g) onion, sliced
- 4 oz (125 g) grated Emmental cheese
- ½ cup (120 ml) cream
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a good boil. Then add the Spaetzle and cook them until tender. Check the package for the right cooking time.
- Once cooked, strain the Spaetzle and immediately refresh them under cold running tap water to stop the cooking process.
- Add the butter and oil to a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Once melted, add the sliced onion and stir. Gently cook the onion until it starts to turn golden brown. Don’t burn it! Stir from time to time and turn the heat lower if necessary. Once cooked, transfer the onion to a plate and set it aside until later.
- Pour the cream in a large non-stick saucepan and place it over medium heat. Bring it to a light simmer, don’t let it boil. Season the cream with a little pepper, salt and nutmeg to taste. Once the cream is warm, add the Spaetzle and half of the grated cheese.
- Stir well until the cheese has melted. Then add the rest of the cheese and keep stirring the cheese Spaetzle. Also add half of the caramelised onions.
- Stir well until you end up with a thick cheesy sauce. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary.
- Transfer the cheese Spaetzle to deep plates and top with the rest of the caramelised onion. Serve hot.