Inspiration can be found all around us. Be it in a book, a simple conversation, a dish we have eaten, an aroma, a change of season or a television programme. ‘Spatzle’ are influenced from the border between Italy and Austria.  Still very much unknown in terms of pasta to many however I have been making, teaching, and actively eating them with gusto for some years now.

Trentino Alto Adige is on the boarders of Austria and Switzerland and I just love how this beautiful Italian region embraces not only language but some of the culture too. Spätzle also known and referred to as ‘Little sparrows, or sparrows’ beaks’ will only be found in this region and what a treasure they are too. The mixture is made very loosely and then extruded or pushed through a spätzle maker or press, these presses are very inexpensive and easy to purchase online and come in a variety of styles and designs. If you are lacking this tool, then use a standard kitchen colander, suspended over a pan of bubbling water. This pasta shape is not particularly pretty or standard so fear not of appearance just embrace the flavour and simplicity.  Large warm bowl, spoon and a glass of wine are all that’s required.

 

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Spätzle

250g spinach, blanched, squeezed

240ml milk

2 eggs

650g 00 flour

½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

Salt & pepper, to season

Sauce

20g butter

100g prosciutto, sliced

150ml single cream

60g talaggio

  1. Place the spinach, milk and eggs in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Pour the flour into a large bowl and add the nutmeg and a twist of salt and pepper.
  3. Scrap the contents of the blender into the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to incorporate fully.
  4. The mixture should be loose, dropping consistence.
  5. Place a large pan of water onto boil. Once boiling salt well.
  6. Prepare the sauce. In a small skillet melt the butter over a medium heat and sauté the prosciutto for 2 minutes, be careful to not catch the prosciutto on the base of the pan.
  7. Pour in the cream. Once the cream has come to a slight simmer add the taleggio cheese and stir with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheese to melt. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Take your spätzle maker or colander and push the mixture in batches into the water. Once the spätzle are cooked, they will float to the top. You many need to batch cook them.
  9. Once cooked use a slotted spoon to remove them. Serve the spätzle in a bowl with a drizzle of the freshly made taleggio sauce.