BLUE WINDOW | Food Travels in the Alps | Spätzle / Knöpfle (spelt noodles)

Spätzle / Knöpfle GERMANY spelt noodles

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Noodles made from grain flour were an integral aspect of the daily diet in alpine Europe long before the Polos came back from China with their stories about the rice noodles they ate in Asia. Spelt, which thrived in poor soils, was a popular cereal across Europe because it was high in protein. By the 18th century it was being used to make the pasta noodles known as knöpfle and spätzle. Several regions in the mountain areas around the Alps regard these noodles as their national dish. German poet Sebastian Blau said spätzle were ’the Alpha and the Omega of a Swabian menu’.

250 g white spelt flour
120 ml water
120 g (2) eggs
50 g spinach, chopped small
5 g salt
Butter, for coating

Sieve flour into a large bowl, add salt, eggs and two tablespoons of water. Work into a dough. Add remaining water and spinach, beat with a wooden spoon into a thick batter. Boil a large pot of salted water. Spoon the batter onto a small chopping board. Scrap the batter into the water. Remove the noodles when they float to the surface to a bowl. Coat with butter, leave to melt.