This is carbohyrdrate heaven – a mix of flour, eggs and semolina that is flicked into boiling water to cook like pasta. In fact the word käsespätzle translates as little cheese sparrows, each piece of pasta a different shape. When cooked it’s mixed while still warm through a mountain of grated cheese and a generous amount of fried onion rings cooked in butter. The result is warm and wicked, full of stretchy cheese. Expatriate Nanna Dorn-Zachertz says while the dish is high in fat, its something that Germans hanker for when they've been away from home for a while. Nanna practiced her recipe on her fellow German expatriates in Sydney to rave reviews.
- 8 eggs
- 150 ml water
- 2 tsp salt
- pinch of pepper
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp oil
- 450 g flour
- 50 g semolina
- 350 g grated cheese (half should be Swiss cheese)
- 100 g butter
- 500 g onion, sliced into rings
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 30 minutes
Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add water, salt, pepper, nutmeg and oil.
Beating constantly, slowly add the flour and then the semolina until the mixture is evenly mixed and bubbles appear through the dough. If the dough is too dry add more water or egg yolks. If it is too runny, add more flour. Allow to rest for about half an hour.
Bring water to boil in a large pot and add salt. If it is possible put a wooden board in the pot with the boiling water. Otherwise wet a wooden cutting board in the sink.
Pull a lump of dough from the mixture and place it on the damp wooden board. Hold the board above the pot, slightly inclined and with the back of a knife cut off little portions of the dough and throw them straight into the boiling water. The spätzle are ready when they rise to the surface of the water.
Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon to drain, place them in a large baking tray and continue with this procedure until all the dough is cooked.
Mix the two cheeses through the hot spätzle and allow to rest.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion rings. Fry the rings until they are brown, turning them from time to time.
When the onions are ready take them out of the pan. Pour the remaining butter into the spätzle and mix through. Serve with the brown onion on top.