I've written before about my burgeoning love of German food, so it should be no surprise that Spätzle/Spaetzle was become a popular dinner in the Cleaver household.
I'll admit that I've yet to find a way of making Spätzle that doesn't make a huge mess (the noodle dough is super sticky!), but I find the end result worth it. The recipe makes a generous amount of noodles (four adult-sized portions) and can be easily doubled.
Not in garlic scape season? Try substituting in chives, wild garlic leaves, spring/baby garlic or basically anything in the edible allium family like scallions, shallots, or leeks. No fresh asparagus around? Substitute with frozen*, or try green beans, sugar or snow peas, broccoli stems - anything green with a snap.
*Frozen veggies beat out of season veggies any day in my book.
Garlic Scape Pesto and Asparagus Summer Spätzle
This bright and delicious combination of German-style spätzle noodles, asparagus, and fresh pesto stands as a light summer meal on its own, or pairs beautifully with sausage, chicken or pork (especially Schnitzel!) for a heartier meal.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- pinch of salt
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 6-8 garlic scapes
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus some for the pan
- salt to taste
Note: The pesto can be made in advance, if desired.
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces, (about 2-2.5 cups)
Note: There are several methods to "pressing" Spätzle into it's shape. There's a Spätzle press if you have one (I don't). You can also use a potato ricer on the largest holes, "cutting" it from a board, squeezing it from a bag, or my most frequently used method, using a spatula to press it through a large-holed colander.
On/next to your stovetop, prepare the following: a large pot of water set to a rolling boil, a large frying pan oiled with approximately a 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (don't heat it yet), and a large bowl filled with ice water.
Make dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine dough ingredients and let sit for about 15 minutes.
Make pesto (can be done in advance and refrigerated): In food processor, combine scapes and walnuts, pulsing until finely chopped. Add cheese and pulse to mix. Slowly add olive oil until desired consistency is achieved. Add salt to taste.
Using the method of your choice, press dough into the pot of boiling water in batches. Once the noodles begin to float (about 2 minutes) removed with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water. Make the rest of the noodles in the same fashion. Drain the noodles.
Heat frying pan. If using frozen vegetables, saute them lightly first, then add the drained noodles. If using fresh vegetables, add both noodles and vegetables to the frying pan at the same time. Fry the noodles until golden brown, adding extra oil if it starts sticking to pan. Add the pesto and mix until well distributed. Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl. Garnish with additional shredded cheese.