Makes 4 servings (serving a crowd?)

400 g flour
8 medium eggs
1 Tablespoon water
dash of ground nutmeg (opt)
1 Tablespoon or so of cooking oil

Special equipment

large pot of boiling salt water
Spätzlehobel, spätzledrücker, a colander, or, God forbid, a sharp knife and board (see illustrations, pending)


Beat together the flour, eggs, the tablespoon of water, salt to taste (say, a teaspoon) and the nutmeg until smooth and gooey. You want a loose batter, not a dough. It must be runny enough to drip through the colander or hobel in big drops. This is not pasta you're making, but Bavarian drop-noodles. With a spätzlehobel, little more than a flat grater with 8cm wide holes and a small bucket for holding the batter, the forming of the noodles is effortless; I imagine the dough must be quite stiffer in order to cut the dough with a board a knife. You could just a well slop the batter through a wide colander.

If you use a hobel, press or colander, squeeze your spätzle dough right into your boiling salt water. If you use a knife and board, reserve your pieces (about 1 cm long) in a dry bowl; you want to immerse all your spätzle into the water at the same time so it cooks evenly. Boil for 2-3 minutes for soft spätzle, and up to 7 for macaroni-like firm spätzle. Do not overcook! Drain, rinse in cold water so the pieces don't stick to one another, then coat lightly with butter (which will also inhibit sticking). Fry quickly just before serving: spätzle is never served straight from the pot. It's always lightly fried so that a few of the noodles have browned edges.

Garnish with chopped parsley.


If you have a reliable source for healthy eggs, these spätzle may be eggier than most. If you get your eggs at a local farmers market, reduce the amount of eggs and increase the amount of water in the batter. And be aware that the eggs used in the development of this recipe would by all American standards be called, at best, medium in size. The balance between egg and water is not so nearly as important as the consistency of the batter.

Hey! Wash those utensils in cold water before you try to scrub them in hot.

Why späztle? Does the name come from the word meaning ‘sparrow’ or ‘late’?

There are two kinds of späztle: the more common short noodles, or longer. The later is more easily made with the press, or a special hobel with guides to make the drops longer.


You can top the späztle with toasted breadcrumbs, fried onions, or with grated cheese to make the Bavarian speciality, späztlekäse, literally, späztle with cheese. Try Swiss cheese, or some sharp Italian like Locatella. Or even a creamy Edam.

First served: Coronation 1996
Go back to the Menu
Last modified: © October 1996