Spaetzle With Ham, Peas, Cream and Aged Gouda (Schinkenspätzle) 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Feb 4, 2015

We agree with chef Jeremy Nolen of Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, who says this dish is about "as close as you're going to come to German carbonara."

The original recipe calls for homemade spaetzle, which takes about 30 minutes to make. So we used the store-bought kind here, which is available at Wegmans, Rodman's and some Aldi and Safeway stores.

Aged Gouda is firmer and sharper than regular Gouda and not as salty as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


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Tested size: 4 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 10 1/2 ounces dried spaetzle
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 scallions
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced speck (Italian smoked, cured ham) or Westphalia ham
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup frozen peas (may substitute fresh when in season)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Leaves from 4 stems curly parsley
  • Aged Gouda, for serving (see headnote)

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Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the stir in the spaetzle. Cook for about 25 minutes or according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, mince the garlic. Trim the scallions, then chop them. Cut the speck or ham into thin strips.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the speck or ham and the garlic; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until the meat is lightly browned.

Stir in the scallions and peas; cook for about 5 minutes or until the light parts of the scallions become translucent.

Drain the spaetzle, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the cooked spaetzle to the saute pan, along with the cream, stirring to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Turn off the heat.

Use some or all of the reserved cooking water to develop the desired consistency of sauce.

Coarsely chop the parsley. Grate a small handful of the cheese for each portion.

Divide the spaetzle mixture among individual bowls or plates. Garnish with the parsley and cheese. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "New German Cooking: Recipes for Classics Revisited," by Jeremy and Jessica Nolen with Drew Lazor (Chronicle, 2015).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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