Sunday, September 18, 2016

Spinach Spaetzle with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

Spaetzle is one of those names that sounds extremely foreign, enough so that many people probably think it is a) hard to make, b) not worth the effort, and or c) over rated. Wrong, wrong and wrong!

Not only is it fun to make and delicious to boot, but easy as well. Whodda thunk it!

While this recipe came from the New York Times' David Tanis, it was a comment from a German cook that tipped me off on how to easily create fun little spaetzle; using the dull edge of a large knife to slide slivers of dough into the boiling water. Brilliant and fun!

Obviously you can add bacon (David's version) instead of the olives and sundried tomatoes that I mixed in. Either way, do keep the crisp sage leaves, they are a real treat.

Spinach Spaetzle with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives (from David Tanis for the New York Times)
 (serves 2-3)

1/2 cup cooked spinach
2 cups spelt flour
1/4 coup water
2 eggs
2 yolks
pinch salt
couple grinds pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6-7 sundried tomatoes, either in oil or rehydrated, minced
4-5 olives (casteveltrano or kalamatas work well), pitted and chopped
10 sage leaves
5 tablespoons butter
ice water bath (large bowl with ice in water)

Chop spinach well and place in bowl and beat in salt, nutmeg, eggs and yolks. When well mixed, add flour and blend well. Slowly add water to create a wet sticky batter. It should not be runny, but it should be sticky and almost taffy like. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and then turn down to medium. Place the dough on a damp cutting board, and using the dull side of the knife, scrape off slivers of dough into the boiling water, about 1 inch long. Once pot fills up, allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, the spaetzle will pop up to the surface. Scoop out with slotted spoon and drop in the ice bath. Once you scoop out the batch, scoop out of the ice bath and set aside. Repeat process until all dough is cooked, adding more ice to bath as needed.

In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once melted, turn heat up to high and crisp sage leaves in butter. Remove from heat and set aside. Add remaining butter to pan and turn heat down to medium. Add spaetzle and cook in butter until warmed through. Add sundried tomatoes and cook another 3-4 minutes to blend flavors. Add olives and toss well. Serve with sage leaves on top immediately.


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