I was really proud of myself when I first officially cooked on Bounty, not just cooking one meal, not filling in for a few days, but really cooking for a length of time. We were in Maine and I was really glad to move into the galley instead of scrap barnacles off the hull of the ship with the rest of the crew. I went to a local book store and bought myself a cook book as a little treat, I bought a book all about pasta, it was something that I didn’t know much about at the time. With my new found confidence I felt I could tackle a challenge and make ravioli for everyone, oh boy, even me now knows how bad of an idea that is. There were only about 15 of us, but there was only one of me who didn’t know a whole lot and it took forever just to make a few for everyone.
Even though I was discouraged I was still feeling this pasta kick so I looked for something easier and came across spatzle, a fresh egg noodle that requires no kneading, rolling or forming into fancy shapes. A thick gooey batter is poured onto a cutting board and with a wet knife you slice thin ribbons of the noodle batter into boiling water. With this method you end up with thick chewy noodle strands, they are good but using a proper spatzle maker does the trick, you get cute noodles as my friend’s kid says. A little box sits on top of a grate, like a cheese grater and you push the box back and forth pressing the batter into boiling water creating small droplets of noodles.
The only trick to this recipe is finding the correct consistency for your cooking method. If you slice them off a cutting board then you’ll want your mixture thicker so it’s not running away without you. For the spatzle maker it can be a bit looser, but if it’s too loose then I find the noodles end up as long teardrops instead of little blobs. I like my batter to fall off my mixing utensil smoothly, but slowly, no thick blobs blopping off and not running like pancake batter. It’s easier enough to adjust as you go and experiment to see where you like the batter.
Last but not least the one unique thing I like to add to my batter is a heavy pinch of turmeric, I like the color that it lends to the finished product. I’ve also played around with the idea of adding pureed spinach or peas for a bright green color could be fun and peas would add a lovely sweetness to the noodles. Have fun experimenting!
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