Spätzle is a cross between a dumpling and pasta and is popular in the north of Italy and other mountainous countries such as Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Interestingly, the dough is more like a batter than a traditional pasta dough, and is scraped across a ‘spätzle maker’ (a board with pea-sized holes) over a pan of boiling water, making it far less time-consuming than making regular pasta dough. If you don’t happen to have a spätzle maker, you can also use a steamer tray, cheese grater or potato ricer to push the batter through into the water.
This recipe is a common way of serving the spätzle in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northern Italy, with a simple cream and speck (a local cured meat) sauce. Other variations include cheese or spinach added to the spätzle batter.