German cooking is a part of my heritage. My grandma immigrated from Germany after World War II. She passed away before I was born, but I grew up listening to stories about her and about the foods she cooked. My parents would take me German restaurants so that I could get an appreciation for part of my family history. Cooked purple cabbage left quite an impression on me. While there are a lot of ways to make it, this recipe is my favorite because it’s simple and it maximizes the sweet/acidic flavor that is customary to tradition.
Spaetzel is in my opinion, the perfect companion dish to cooked purple cabbage. If I have one without the other, it’s just not the same. Spaetzel is basically a pasta. It has a great texture with a simple, yet excellent, flavor. You can put sauce on it if you want, but I personally like to saute it in butter with salt and pepper.
My hope is that you like this recipe. My greater hope is that you look up your family history, learn more about your ancestors, and eat the food they ate. If you’re at all like me, it will connect you with them and help you better understand where you came from.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl using an electric mixer or stand mixer.
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Using a spaetzle maker, a potato ricer, a colander, or anything with a hole in it, press the dough through and let it drop into the boiling water. Let it boil for 6 minutes. The cooked spaetzle will rise to the top and float. (If you are having a hard time pressing the dough through the holes, you can thin the dough out more by adding a little extra milk)
Use a strainer or slotted spoon to fish out the cooked spaetzle.
I like to saute the cooked spaetzle in a pan with butter before serving. Be sure to season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spaetzle and German Purple Cabbage are soft, moist, and contain multiple soft textures. Any textures requiring chewing have been prepared so that there are no pieces larger than ¼ inch (or 6mm). These foods are soft enough that, with minimal effort, they can be easily formed into swallowable-sized portions.
Red cabbage will differ in color based on the acidity of the soil it is grown in. When grown in acidic soils, the leaves appear more red. When grown in alkaline soils, the leaves are a green/yellow color. When grown in neutral soils, they are more purple in appearance.
When making spaetzel, I’ve had great luck using a variety of kitchen tools, my favorite of which is the potato ricer. But if you want an even easier time making spaetzel and want it to be uniform in shape, then you will want an actual spaetzel maker.