Spaetzle is a German egg noodle with the consistency of a dumpling and is used in many ethnic dishes. They're traditionally part of the cuisine in Austria, Hungary and Switzerland as well. It's also the ULTIMATE FRUGAL NOODLE. A HUGE batch like the one pictured here is hardly ever more than $2 – but they're filling, fun to make and good to eat.
Here's a basic spaetzle recipe, from my book Instant Bargains: 600+ Ways to Shrink Your Grocery Bills and Eat Well for Less (there are many great frugal basic recipes in the book). This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, and will keep well in your refrigerator for up to a week.
1 1/2 tsp. water
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Combine ingredients to form dough. Press dough through the holes in a colander or spaetlze maker* into boiling water. The noodles will rise to the surface when they're done cooking. Serve with butter, gravy or other thick sauce. We enjoy eating our spaetzle noodles with mushroom gravy.
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. butter
2-3 tsp. Wondra (or all-purpose flour)
1 C. beef broth
Melt butter in saucepan. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add a little bit of flour and stir well. Next, add beef broth and stir until the gravy starts to thicken. Pepper to taste.
*With the help of a Spaetzle Maker, it's easier – but you can improvise. The first time my husband and I made these noodles we were newly married and broke – so we used a tin can with holes punched in the bottom. You can also use a colander if it has wide enough holes.