Monday, January 16, 2012

Butternut Squash Spaetzle

As you might remember, Mr. FC&G recently made our own link sausage.  With a long, chilly weekend on our hands, it seemed a good time to cook up a few links and enjoy them for dinner.  I had planned to make gnocchi with butternut squash based on this recipe, but the sight of the sausage inspired me to embrace a more German influence and make spaetzle.

Spaetzle is just a small dumpling pasta.  To make the characteristic shape, take a fairly loose pasta dough and press it through a wide-hole cheese grater or colander (note: the mesh or fine shred kinds will not work).  Voila:  spaetzle to make any German grandma proud!

Butternut Squash Spaetzle
2 medium butternut squash
3 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 t. salt
3 free-range eggs
1 cup water (or more as needed, but the squash will add liquid)

Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Bake butternut squash halves cut side down in a pan of water until the flesh is soft.  Scoop out flesh.

Add flours, eggs, salt, and water, and mix until you have a batter-like consisetncy.  Drop into a large pan of boiling, salted water by pressing batter through a wide-hole cheese grater or colander with the back of a spoon.  You should be getting small droplets of batter going into the water.  Cook until the spaetzle floats, then remove to a dish with a generous hunk of butter while you cook the rest of the spaetzle.

Serve with your favorite sauce and a side of sausage. 

The Analysis

Fast:  Pressing the batter through the grater takes some time, so this is a Sunday meal, not a week night one.  However, it does make enough leftovers to keep you going for a couple of days.

Cheap:  Squash from the garden stretches the already-inexpensive flour. 

Good:  This is another way to add some vegetables to your diet in the middle of winter.  It is also a far superior spaetzle than the dried stuff you can buy in the store.
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  1. But what does it taste like? I have about a ton of squash in my basement...and if it tastes good, this would be an interesting dish.

  2. Andrea, it tastes just like egg noodles with a hint of squash flavor. The texture is a bit softer. The leftovers are fabulous with melted cheese!