This dish can be prepared with or without the lardon for you veggies out there. We just happen to have a ton of this amazing smoke bacon courtesy of our wonderful roommate Brody. When there is a slab of Oscar's bacon in the house its hard to not include it. That and the mushrooms cooked in bacon fat... you see where I'm going. This is also a good weeknight dish, since it can all be done in advance, and then quickly sautéed together.
- 5 oz spinach, blanched, dried
- 4 eggs
- 4 yolks
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1/4 t white pepper
- 20 g of porcini powder (buy dried porcinis, grind in an electric spice/coffee grinder)
- 390 g all purpose flour
- 1 c water
- Blend blanched spinach, eggs, yolks, and spices until it looks like a thick green smoothie a hippie would drink.
- Place flour, porcini powder, green slurry and water in a stand mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat for 5 minutes.
- Let the batter rest for 20 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Set out a sheet tray for your cooked, shocked, and drained spaetzle to rest.
- Set up an ice bath with a fine mesh strainer on top. This allows you to dunk your späetzle in the water without having to fish them out.
- This is where there is some debate. Some people swear by the potato ricer method, others the colander, others some kind of unitasker. I use the colander method because I have one, and have had no success with the potato ricer.
- Take about a cup of batter, and place in the colander. Set over the boiling water. With one hand holding the colander, and the other a rubber spatula, tilt the colander and begin working the batter though the sides of the colander. Little babies will start to fall into the water. Work quickly so they all cook at the relatively the same time. When they're all floating, scoop and shock in your mesh strainer/ ice situation. Pull up the mesh strainer, and drain. Place cooked, shocked and drained dumplings on the sheet tray.
- Repeat until all your batter is cooked.
- Congrats! You made späetzle! Or is it spätzle... The internet, and menus have told me both. Comment if you know for sure!
- Reserve a little späetzle/ spätzle water.
- Set aside until the rest of your mise is ready.
- 1 qt wild mushrooms, stems removed (and reserved for stock!), large caps sliced
- slab bacon sliced into lardons
- a bunch of butter, have at least a stick out, we wont use that much...
- minced shallot, 2 tablespoons
- minced rosemary about a tablespoon
- lemon zested, and sliced into wedges
- pea shoots
- fried basil (recipe below)
- Render and crisp lardons in the pan. Remove, and set aside.
- Over high heat, add mushrooms and toss in bacon fat. Add 1-2 T butter as needed. Once the mushrooms are almost brown and roasty on all sides, season with salt and pepper. Remove and set aside.
- Reserve the shallot, rosemary, lemon, pecorino and pea shoots on the side.
Fried Basil leaves
- Blanch basil leaves. This is what keeps their bright green color. The leaves end up looking like stained glass, have a nice crunch.
- Dry thoroughly. They're going to be dropped into hot oil. Fry oil + water = explosion.
- Heat frying oil to 350.
- Drop a few leaves in at a time, remove after 30 seconds- 1 minute, should be crisp.
- Set on a paper towel to drain. Season while hot.
Bringing it all together:
Alright so we have our späetzle made, mise en place ready, and our garnish fried up. Let's bring this shit together.
- Heat 2 T butter in a pan over medium low heat, sweat shallots with minced rosemary until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in bacon and mushrooms and toss.
- Add in 2-3 portions of your späetzle, plus 1 T cooking water. Toss.
- Add 1 t lemon zest, and squeeze 1-2 lemon wedges.
- Using a microplane, grate over a bunch of pecorino, toss, toss, toss.
- Taste it. Does it need more acidity, does it need more cheese. Add whatever to your liking. Keep fussing until its PERFECT.
- Place in your dish, grating a little extra pecorino on top. Add pea-shoots tossed in a little olive oil/ lemon. Garnish with fried basil.
- EAT. I recommend a cold dry riesling with this.