Recipe courtesy of Kindred by Eva and Maria Konecsny, Macmillan Publishers, RRP $49.99
The title says it all, this is a fancy version of mac ’n’ cheese with homemade German noodles, crispy onions and gooey cheese. Simple flavours that just work together.
SERVES 4 | Vegetarian
- 450 g (3 cups) plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt
- 300 g cheese, grated (we use a mixture of Gruyère, cheddar and Gouda in equal parts; Emmentaler and Jarlsberg are also excellent options)
- 60 g salted butter
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- pinch of fine Himalayan pink salt
- pinch of white sugar
First, make the caramelised onion. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until golden brown, about 20–30 minutes. Halfway through cooking, add the salt and sugar to help the caramelisation. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan-forced.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat.
To make the Spätzle (noodles), place the flour, eggs, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon, lightly mix the ingredients together. Gradually add 250 ml (1 cup) of cold water, a little at a time, while stirring, until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix – better less than too much.
Fill a Spätzle maker with some of the dough and quickly move the dough box back and forth over the pan of boiling water, so the Spätzle fall into the water. Continue until the dough box is empty. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until the Spätzle rise to the top. Using a large slotted spoon, take them out of the pan, gently shaking off the excess water, then transfer to an ovenproof dish. Add a layer of cheese and continue until all the Spätzle are made and the cheese is used up.
Sprinkle the caramelised onion over the top, then bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes. The cheese will have melted and the corners will start to get nice and crunchy.
COOK’S NOTES: This recipe calls for a Spätzle maker – or, in German, Spätzlehobel – to make the noodles. You can find these online by searching ‘spaetzle maker’. Alternatively, some European delis sell dried Spätzle that you can simply cook to make this recipe. This is a much wetter dough than regular pasta dough, as it needs to be wet to pass through the Spätzle maker.