Technique Thursday: How to make good Nocken (Austrian Spaetzle)

Kasnocken (Recipe) are small, “squiggly” pasta served with cheese and caramelized onion, essentially Austrian Mac and Cheese. This delicious “post-ski” comfort food can be made any number of ways, but I’ve done some research on proper technique.

The best KasNocken techniques keep the dough tender:

– Do not over-mix the dough or your Nocken will be tough. Just combine ingredients with your hand or a spoon until just mixed.

– Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes after mixing. This gives time for the dough to relax and become more tender.

– Never boil the dough. Simmering keeps the dough… you guessed it… more tender.

What tool to use to make Nocken?

– You can push the dough through a $60 gadget

or a $3 colander

or the old fashioned way, with a cutting board and blade, like in this video (the second lady is FAST)

You decide. There are die-hard fans each method. Just remember that the end result is supposed to be imperfect. Afterall, the flavor attaches to those squigglies.

– The dough should be very thin, making it easy to pass through the holes. Bringing the noodles to your mouth should not be a weight lifting challenge.

Serving recommendations:

– Once cooked and drained, kasnocken is typically put in an oven-proof skillet. In the oven, melt cheese over the top and add caramelized onions.

– Serve Kasnocken directly out of the skillet.

Kasnocken Recipe (Nocken with Cheese, a.k.a. Austrian Spaetzle)



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