Whole Wheat Spaetzle with Pancetta and Butternut Squash

We’re deep into winter squash season, yet they’ve never been one of my favorite vegetables to cook. I decided the problem was I just wasn’t preparing dishes with enough seasoning and flavor. I sought to remedy that with this dish.

Spaetzle are egg noodles shaped by pressing the dough through a pasta maker (or in my case, a colander.) Instead of all-purpose flour, I used a mixture of white whole wheat flour and bread flour, to get a similar texture. I mixed some nutmeg into the dough for warmth.

This dish was super delicious; the ideal thing to serve on a cool fall night. Best of all, it isn’t that heavy. There is no cream sauce, and it isn’t swimming in butter. This recipe will serve four for dinner, with a side salad.

Spaetzle Dough Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk

Remaining Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • Pecorino romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the squash in half and season with salt and pepper. Lay face down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, then let cool.

 

 

Step 2. Whisk together the flours, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the eggs and milk and stir together. Set aside to rest while you bring a large pot of water to boil.

 

 

Step 3. Pour the spaetzle dough into a colander. Press it through with a spatula. (Note: there is a specialty tool that I’m eager to try, but in the interest of not having too many gadgets crowding my kitchen, I’ve avoided getting it. I tried making my own spaetzle maker my drilling holes in the bottom of an aluminum can, but that did not work.)

Step 4. The spaetzle are done when they float to the top of the water. Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.

 

 

 

Step 5. Saute the onion until browned in a little oil or butter in a large pan, then add the diced pancetta and fresh thyme. Cook until browned.

 

 

Step 6. By this point the squash should be cooked and cooled enough to handle. Cut off the skin and dice into cubes. (Another option would be cubing the squash before cooking it. I haven’t tried it, but I was really pleased with the texture of the squash using the cook-then-cube method. It got less dried out and stringy than butternut squash I’ve baked in the past.)

Step 7. Add the cubed squash to the pancetta and onion and cook for 3-5 minutes. Finally, add the spaetzle and toss and warm. Grate pecorino romano cheese over the dish before serving.

 

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