A recipe for Spinach Spätzle with Sage and Speck! These little spinach dumplings from Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol in Northern Italy are paired with crisp speck and sage leaves.
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Sunday Supper is kicking off the New Year by designating January as National Sunday Supper Month!
For the event, I am sharing a recipe for Spinach Spätzli with Sage and Speck from the cookbook, Pasta by Hand.
Spinach Spätzli with Sage and Speck
Spätzli comes from Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol in northern Italy and has been influenced by the Spätzle of their neighbors in Germany and Austria.
As a longtime fan of Spätzle, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to discover/make this spinach variation (there is also a deep pink spätzli that incorporates beets).
Fresh spinach is quickly blanched, then processed with eggs and flour to make a smooth dough. It is pressed through a spätzle maker to make small dumplings. I just love the bright green color.
The cooked dumplings are tossed with melted butter, sage, and thin ribbons of speck before serving.
A Few Tips
For me, 2 pounds (910 grams) of fresh spinach was 4 smallish bunches. To squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach, I often use a potato ricer. You can also place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring the water out.
I used a Spätzle Maker to make the spätzli. A large-holed colander and wooden spoon to push the dough through will work too.
If the dough is too thick to be pushed through the press, thin it with 1 teaspoon of water at a time.
I have also seen recipes that serve the spätzli with a cream sauce. Evan enjoys them simply with a basic tomato sauce.
Speck (Südtiroler Speck) is a dry-cured, lightly smoked ham that originated in Alto Adige and is now under Protected Geographical Indication status.
It is often used in northern Italian, German, and Austrian cuisine.
The exterior is darker in appearance due to the smoking process and spice blend with juniper. You can find it in some larger grocery stores (locally I have found it in the deli section of Wegmans) with imported Italian products or in Italian specialty stores.
If you are unable to locate it, substitute with a fatty prosciutto or Black Forest bacon (I have seen this at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s), though the flavor won’t be exactly the same.
Looking for more pasta dumpling recipes?
- Bryndzové Halušky (Slovak Potato Dumplings with Sheep Cheese)
- Kasnocken (Austrian Dumplings with Cheese and Onions)
- Kräuterspätzle (German Herb Pasta)
Check out what everyone else made:
Appetizers and Soups
- Borscht from Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls from Wallflour Girl
- Creamy Zucchini Soup from Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen
- Garlic Chili Tiger Prawns from Food Lust People Love
- Lion’s Head Meatball Soup from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Potato and Carrot Leek Soup from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Steve’s Crab Dip from Monica’s Table
- Grandma’s Fried Chicken from The Freshman Cook
- Huevos Rancheros from Palatable Pastime
- Indian Spiced Roast Salmon from Soni’s Food
- Italian Style Swiss Chard and Beans with Orecchietti Pasta from Delaware Girl Eats
- Korean Spicy Braised Mackerel from kimchi MOM
- Mediterranean Flatbread from Magnolia Days
- Mustard-Crusted Pork Roast from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Sausage & Pasta in a Quick Tomato Sauce from The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Savory Ham, Cheese and Sage Waffles from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Shrimp and Asparagus Crepes from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Spinach Spätzli with Sage and Speck from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Turkey Cutlets with Sausage Stuffing from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Ultimate Mac and Cheese from Our Good Life
- Gramma Buckholt’s Yeast Rolls from The Weekend Gourmet
- Lager and Rye Bread from What Smells So Good?
- Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls from Wholistic Woman
- Winter Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Caramel Apple Rice Krispies Treats from Pies and Plots
- Gluten Free Tropical Banana Pineapple Coconut Muffins from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Spinach Spätzli with Sage and Speck Recipe
Adapted from Pasta by Hand
Spinach Spätzli with Sage and Speck Recipe
- 2 pounds (910 grams) fresh spinach stems removed
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 8 thin slices speck cut into narrow ribbons
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the pot.
- Once the water is boiling, add the spinach. Cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Use tongs to immediately remove the spinach from the boiling water and into the bowl of ice water. Once cool enough to handle, drain and squeeze well of excess moisture.
- Transfer the spinach to a food processor. Add the eggs, nutmeg, and salt, then process until finely chopped. Pour in the flour and continue to process until thickened and smooth. Transfer the batter to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Fill the large pot with salted water again and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Place some of the dough into a spätzle press or colander with large holes and press into the simmering water. Remove using a strainer and transfer to the prepared baking sheet in as much of a single layer as possible. Repeat with remaining batches of dough. Allow to cool while you prepare the sauce.
- In a large pan, heat the butter and sage over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the speck, tossing to coat. Heat through and remove from heat. Toss in the cooked spätzli and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.