Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spaetzle with Arugula and Tomatoes

Any Way You Want It by Journey
This song is what was playing through my mind as I considered lunch one day last week - and this week - and will be what's playing next week and all the weeks after!  "Any way you want it, that's the way you need it!"  And I wanted Italian - and German.  And the song says, over and over again, that I can have both - over and over again!  Not that I needed Steve Perry's permission.  It's just kinda nice knowing I have it!

Hectic is the word.  
It describes what the inside of my head has been like the past couple weeks.  It's been one of those points in my life where I have so many different interests, concerns, projects, and commitments intersecting at exactly the same time.  You know those open-shutter nighttime photos of busy intersections with all the headlights and tail lights creating thousands of red and white streaks?  Pop the top off of my noggin and that's what you'll see.  I'm certain of it.

So what's a girl to do for lunch when she has very little in the house and even going out for fast food isn't quick enough?  She thinks pasta.  Then she realizes she doesn't want to have to wait the 6 - 9 minutes for it to cook.  Oh - but she really could use some Italian food!  She then remembers the spaetzle she made - and swooned over - a few weeks ago.  Oh, now - that's exactly the ticket!  She could change up a few ingredients of the spaetzle to help mirror the Italian finish.  She couldn't wait to give it a try!

In fifteen minutes, start to finish, I had this glorious dish waiting for me at the table.
Allow me to point out the creamy, yet not cloying, coating on the spaetzle.  That is just a quick pan sauce.  I had some fresh grape tomatoes on hand as well as a tub of arugula.  The spaetzle is flavored with garlic powder and dried oregano.  So, so, so, delicious!

This made too much for just one gal so I actually made the whole batch of spaetzle but only used about one-third for my lunch.  I stirred a touch of olive oil into the remaining spaetzle and put it in an airtight tub in the fridge for use later in the week.  I then decreased the amount of ingredients for the rest of the dish accordingly.

This was such a success that I've contemplated taking my beloved spaetzle on a trip around the world!  What would it mix with in Japan or Thailand?  India?  Hawaii?  England? 
Wouldn't that be a fun adventure?

Spaetzle with Arugula and Tomatoes
serves 4
1 c. all-purpose flour (125 g)
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
2 eggs
1/3 c. milk
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 c. cream
1/2 c. grated parmesan, divided
2 handfuls of baby arugula
salt to taste

Place a large pot of water on to boil.

Whisk together the flour, oregano, garlic powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.  

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until smooth.

When the pot of water comes to a full boil, season with a small handful of salt and turn down to a simmer.  Place a perforated container over the water, such as a colander or a pizza pan with holes and scoop the batter onto it.  Using a spatula, scrape the batter around the surface until all the batter has dropped through the holes and into the simmering water.  When all batter is pushed through, remove the perforated container and give the spaetzle a stir.  Cook for another minute then remove with a slotted spoon to a strainer that's been placed over a bowl.

For the sauce (which can be started while you're still waiting for the water to boil) heat a skillet over medium heat and warm the olive oil.  Add the garlic and tomatoes and heat until the garlic is fragrant - about 1 minute.  Add the wine and turn up the heat to medium high and cook and reduce until the wine has reduced by about half - this will only take a couple minutes.  Turn the heat down and add the cream.  Stir together with contents in the pan.  Turn the heat back up and cook until it bubbles and starts to thicken - just another minute or two.  Add all but a couple tablespoons of the cheese and stir to combine.  Add the cooked spaetzle at this point and stir to coat.  If the sauce seems to be too dry or thick, add some of the water you used to cook the spaetzle to loosen it up.  Add the arugula right before serving and give a stir.  Season to taste.  Top with some parmesan and serve.

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