If you’ve been to a German- speaking part of the world, you’ve probably had the delectable little dumplings known as spätzle. If not, you’re probably wondering what that funny-looking word could possibly be. Translated literally, “spätzle” means “little sparrows”. Not quite sure that’s what I would think of when I look at them, but hey, to each their own. Traditionally, they’re made without ricotta, but I had some leftover and actually loved the light and airy texture it added to the spätzle.
This is one of those recipes that was made entirely on a whim out of what I found lounging around in the fridge, and it turned out so well that I had to share it with you! My spätzle maker was also feeling a bit forlorn and unloved, so I decided to give it a bit of an ego-boost by sharing a rather flattering photo of it below. If you feel like purchasing one, they’re rather inexpensive (here’s one), and once it’s been delivered by the Amazon fairy, you can be well on your way to having an exorbitant amount of odd kitchen tools like moi. (All much-needed, of course…) If you don’t feel like adding to your stash of kitchen gadgets, I’ve included a way to make the little sparrows below that doesn’t require a new purchase. I have to say, though, it’s much more fun to make them with the actual device!
The recipe below requires using the entirety of the beet (greens, stalks, and all). Most people might not consider eating anything but the beet root, but the greens contain an astonishing amount of Vitamin K, calcium, iron, and magnesium, so don’t throw away those greens the next time you buy a bunch of beets! Sauté the greens and stalks and add them to scrambled eggs, pasta, quinoa, or anything else you can think of. Or just make this delectable spätzle dish 🙂
Ricotta Spätzle with Beets, Caramelized Onions, and Pecorino
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 bunch beets with good-looking beet greens
salt and pepper
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano, divided
1 cup whole-milk ricotta
4 large eggs
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg