Spaetzle (or spätzle if you’re diligent enough to use umlauts) is a catch-all name for a type of pasta eaten all over Central Europe.
In shape, it can range all the way from gnocchi-like lumps to long, thin noodles. It’s delicious with all kinds of hearty meat-based sauces and can even find its way into desserts.
Whatever its shape, it’s traditionally dropped directly into boiling water as soon as it is formed. This utensil makes it easy to prepare either the long or the short kind of thin spaetzle.
Of course, it’s possible to produce this round, thick shape using other types of pasta maker, but the special soft and springy texture spaetzle enthusiasts enjoy requires a much looser and wetter dough than normal.
In fact, it’s more like pastry batter than any mixture you’d use for normal pasta. It consists mainly of flour and eggs.
Ergonomic and No-Nonsense
Because of the requirement for dropping each shape into boiling water as soon as it’s formed, this peculiar dough has led to a number of special pasta makers being designed, of which this is our favorite for thin spaetzle.
The idea is just to press the handles together after spooning batter into the bowl at the front, which squirts out little spaetzle worms from the holes in the bottom. This is done while holding the 1⅓ foot long doohickey over the steaming pot; some grooves at the front can be hooked over the lip to help hold it steady while squeezing.
As with gnocchi, the individual strands are typically scooped out of the water as soon as they start to float, to keep them from overcooking.
This product works perfectly well at what it’s supposed to do. Being made out of cast aluminum, it isn’t likely to quit soon and can also be used as a vegetable ricer.
Despite the awkward size, it weighs less than you’d think, while operating the lever shouldn’t present a strain. As with all spaetzle utensils and pasta makers, however, it will never be able to compensate for a poor dough.
If you’ve ever tried this dish, or you wish to expand your culinary horizons, this is very likely the product you will want to buy. There are cheaper ones and there are more expensive ones, but in terms of its ease of use, value for money, and almost intimidating ruggedness, this one takes the top spot.
- Easy to balance on pot's edge
- Very sturdy
- Creates either long or short spaetzle depending on how it's used
- Will struggle with stiff dough
- Costs more than some devices that can do approximately the same thing
- Good at only one job