This simple dish was inspired by a mystery gift from one of the guys at work. I asked him to bring back a cooking implement unique to his home country, Germany. He came back from his holiday with what I can only describe as a strange looking cheese grater with a hopper attached to it. When I asked him what it was for, his reply was spätzle, a type of small round noodle. This noodle combines perfectly with cheese and fried onion to create the ultimate comfort dish for those slow winter weekends. If you can not find a spätzle maker, you can use a colander, open weave sieve or a flat grater with large hole.
1 small onion
½ tsp salt
1. Cut onion in half, then thinly slice into half rounds. Fry in a heavy oven proof cast iron pan over a low heat.
2. Put a large pot of water on the boil.
3. Combine flour, eggs, salt and water together, mix until the mixture is smooth with no lumps.
4. Transfer the mixture into your sieve, grater or spätzle maker, let the mixture drop through the holes and into the boiling water. The mixture should form into small droplet shapes on contact with the water.
5. Once all the spätzle come to the surface of the water, they are cooked. Remove them with a slotted spoon.
6. Once onions are caramelised, remove from the pan. Add a single layer of spätzle to the pan, then a layer of cheese, then a little onion. Repeat until all the spätzle are used up.
7. Top with a layer of cheese and onion, then bake in the oven until the cheese has melted, then serve.