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Spinach spaetzle with tarragon cream and crispy ham

A fun and healthy twist on the classic German spaetzle, this spinach spaetzle gives off a pesto-like taste and is served with a tarragon cream sauce and crispy juicy ham. 




  • ½ pound (227 g) baby spinach leaves
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups (710 ml) all-purpose flour

Crispy Ham

  • 4 ounces (113 g) prosciutto or Ammerlander ham, thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil

Tarragon Cream Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup (240 ml) white wine
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (240 ml) cream
  • 3 sprigs tarragon, chopped leaves
  • Salt and white pepper

To Serve

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • Torn tarragon leaves, to garnish


For the Spaetzle

  1. Blanch the spinach for 30 seconds in boiling water until wilted, immediately transfer to cold water to stop the cooking.
  2. Drain and press the spinach, squeezing out all the liquid.
  3. Add the spinach to a blender and puree. There should be about ¼ cup (60 ml) of the spinach paste.
  4. Combine eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper with the spinach in blender and puree again until smooth.
  5. Add the flour and the spinach-egg mixture to a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  6. Beat in flour and to make a wet, sticky batterlike dough. Beat for 5 minutes, until lump free and stretchy.
  7. If the mixture seems too stiff, beat in a little more milk or water to make a wet dough.
  8. Leave batter to rest at room temperature, covered, for 15 minutes.
  9. Bring a large wide pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  10. Working in batches, press the batter through the large holes of a cheese grater with a rubber spatula.

Alternate Method

  1. Stand close to the pot with the bowl of dough nearby, a small cutting board with a handle on one end in one hand and a dough knife (bench scraper) or straight (metal) spatula in the other.
  2. Working quickly, make the spaetzle: Dip the edge of the board into the pot to wet, then spread a dollop of the batter across, then wet and use the edge of the dough knife or straight spatula to scrape long, narrow slivers of the batter into the boiling water. Dip the edge of the board and the knife into the pot occasionally to keep everything wet to facilitate sliding.
  3. Cook the batches for about 1 minute each, until all the dumplings float to the surface. Remove with a skimmer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. Drain well and blot dry before searing for service. If not using right away, toss lightly with oil before storing (to prevent clumping).

For the Crispy Ham

  1. Heat oil a large pan over medium-high heat. Add ham strips and fry until crisp.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy strips to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the oil/fat.

For the Tarragon Cream Sauce

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes, until shallots are starting to soften.
  2. Add the white wine and reduce completely, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the Dijon and toss once, then add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce by half
  4. Add the tarragon leaves. Season with salt and white pepper.

To Serve

  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Spaetzle and sear to crisp, tossing, 3 minutes.
  2. Add the Tarragon Cream Sauce and toss to coat the spaetzle. Heat through.
  3. Transfer to serving dish(es) and garnish with Crispy Ham and torn tarragon leaves.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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