Spaetzle and Veggie Mix

Have you heard about spaetzle? It is a complicated word but refers to a very delicious type of food: a type of pasta typical for the South Germany, especially the region of Swabia. Spaetzle are made with fresh eggs and are therefore softer than the classic Italian pasta you are already familiar with.

The classic Swabian way to eat spaetzle is arguably as “Kässpätzle”, so spaetzle with melted cheese. The recipe below is my attempt to give this traditional dish a bit of a spin by adding fresh veggies to it.

Great with a glass of white wine.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 8-9 green asparagus spears
  • 5-6 tomatoes
  • 125 g fresh spinach
  • 500 g spaetzle (pre-packaged from the supermarket)
  • grated pecorino as to your liking
  • salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you feel like

How to Make It

  • Peel the onion and chop it into thin pieces.
  • Fry the onion pieces with a bit of olive oil in a pan.
  • Wash the asparagus spears. Take a potato or asparagus peeler and peel the lower third of the spears. Cut off the dry ends. Chop the spears into pieces.
  • Add the asparagus pieces to the pan and fry them for a bit. You may have to add a bit more oil.
  • Wash the tomatoes and cut them into pieces.
  • Add the tomatoes to the mix and fry everything for a few minutes.
  • Wash the spinach leaves and add them to the pan.
  • Add the spaetzle.
  • Carefully mix and fry everything. Add the spices and herbs.
  • As you serve the spaetzle, you can sprinkle some grated pecorino cheese on top.

Spaghetti Carbonara

I am a big pasta fan and spaghetti carbonara is one of my comfort foods, especially when my husband cooks it. The creamy sauce contains a lot of “delicious points” and makes (almost) everything seem better straight away. We always have it with a nice glass of white wine, too.

Happy Sunday dinner.

Ingredients

(enough for 3 people)

  • 2 onions (1 red, 1 white)
  • 300 g chanterelles (we used frozen ones)
  • 150 g diced bacon
  • 600 g cream
  • 200 g sour cream
  • 275 g spaghetti (we used spaghetti made from wholegrain spelt)
  • 3 eggs (1 per person)

How to Make It

  • Peel the onions and chop them into pieces.
  • Sauté them in a pan with a bit of olive oil.
  • Add the chanterelles and fry them as well.
  • Add the diced bacon and fry it as well.
  • Add salt, pepper, and any other herbs you like. We used fresh parsley.
  • Lower the heat and add the cream and the sour cream. Let the sauce simmer, stir occasionally.
  • Boil water and cook the spaghetti according to instructions.
  • Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until they are fluffy.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain it thoroughly and return it to the pot. Pour the eggs onto the pasta and mix it all. Make sure to be quick about it so that the egg does not solidify in chunks.
  • Pour the pasta into the sauce and stir it.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Veal with Oven Veggies – Our Anniversary Dinner

Last week, the husband and I celebrated a major relationship milestone – 10 years together, 2 of them married – and decided that we would celebrate, Corona be damned. So, we cooked together and opened a bottle of our wedding wine. It was a wonderful way to spend some meaningful time together and honor our relationship.

What are your anniversary traditions? Is there a must-have food you absolutely need to have because it is tied to a special memory?

Ingredients

(For 2 people)

  • 500 g veal (250 g per person)
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 1 large sweet potato/yam
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 mid-sized onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg; garden herbs, if you like (we used thyme and rosemary)

How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 180° C.
  • Peel the yam and cut it into pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl, season them with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pour 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over them. Stir everything to make sure that the yam pieces are properly covered in oil and spices. Pour the yam pieces onto a baking tray.
  • Wash the asparagus spears and peel the lower third. Cut off the dry ends. Put the asparagus on the baking tray as well, season them carefully.
  • Put the baking tray in the oven and let the yam and the asparagus cook for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, clean the mushrooms and cut them into pieces. Wash the eggplant and cut it into pieces.
  • As you did with the yams, put the mushroom and eggplant pieces in a bowl, season them with salt and pepper and add a bit of olive oil (2-3 tablespoons). Stir to make sure the pieces are properly seasoned.
  • Take the baking tray out of the oven. Pour the mushroom and eggplant pieces onto it, stir it all, and put the tray back into the oven. Let the veggies cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on how soft you like them.
  • Take the meat out of the fridge and, on a separate plate, season it with salt, pepper, and any other herbs you like. We used a mix of thyme and rosemary.
  • Peel the onion and the clvoes of garlic and chop both into pieces.
  • About 5-10 minutes before the veggies are done, heat up a pan and pour a bit of olive oil in it. Sauté the onion and the garlic, take them out, put them aside, and keep them warm.
  • Then fry the meat from both sides, making sure that it stays soft and juicy on the insides.
  • Serve the veggies and the meat on a plate. Garnish the meat with the onion and garlic. We also recommend candles, a nice red wine, and some romantic music for atmosphere. 🙂

Veggie Scrambled Eggs

I am a big omelet fan because they are quick and easy to make and a great way to use up veggie leftovers from previous cooking exploits. It is often my go-to lunch option right before it’s time to go grocery shopping again since it’s so efficient. 🙂

In my family, when we make omelet, we also add a spoonful of milk to the egg mix (1 spoonful for each egg that you add), add the spices and then whisk it. I find that it makes the omelet texture a bit creamier, but this is definitely a question of personal taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 250 g spinach
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • salt, pepper

How to Make It

  • Peel and chop up the onion.
  • Take a pan and fry the onion with a bit of olive oil.
  • Clean and chop up the mushrooms and add them to the pan.
  • Wash and chop up the bell pepper. Add the pieces to the pan and fry them.
  • Wash the spinach and carefully mix it in. Lower the heat.
  • In a separate bowl, add the eggs and the milk and whisk them.
  • Pour the egg-mix into the pan.
  • Add the spices.
  • Carefully stir the contents of the pan until the eggs have solidified.

Veggie Quiche

A quiche is a great dish whether you are participating in a brunch, a lunch, or are having a group of friends over. It can be prepared in advance and it is easy to make, even though the preparation does take a few hours. Below you will find the recipe for a simple veggie quiche. Of course, you can vary the vegetables you add – let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter how yours turned out!

Veggie quiche made with carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Ingredients Dough

  • 250 g flour (wheat, type 450 is fine)
  • 100 g ice-cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

Making the Dough

  • Mix the flour with the ice-cold butter, the egg, and the salt. Slowly add the ice-water and mix until you have a ball of dough.
  • Tip: I actually cut the butter into small chunks and freeze it for a few hours – it really improves the dough.
  • Let the dough rest in the fridge for about an hour.
Let the dough rest in the fridge for about an hour.

Ingredients Quiche

  • 400 g carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 broccoli
  • 200 g mushrooms
  • salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

Making the Filling

  • Peel the carrots and cut them into thin slices. Fry the slices in a pot or pan.
  • Wash the broccoli, cut it into small pieces, and steam them.
  • Cut the mushrooms and the zucchini into small pieces and fry them.
  • Put all the veggies into a big bowl. Season them with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Mix thoroughly.

Ingredients Sauce

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g cream
  • 200 g sour cream
  • 100 g crème fraiche
  • salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

Making the Sauce

  • Mix all ingredients together and whisk thoroughly.
  • Add salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Mix thoroughly.

Making the Quiche

  • Preheat the oven to 180° C. Grease a spring-form pan (24-26 cm in diameter).
  • Roll out the dough and line the spring-form pan with the dough. Make sure to pull up the dough up to the top of the pan.
  • Take a fork and poke holes into the dough.
  • Bake the dough in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Take the pan out, let it cool off for a few minutes.
  • Add the veggies and spread them evenly in the pan. Carefully pour the sauce on top and make sure to spread it so that all the veggies are covered.
  • Put the pan back in the oven and bake the quiche at 180° C for 45-50 minutes. Best eaten warm. Enjoy!

Empanada with Tuna, Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes

Empanada is a typical Spanish dish originating in the northern region of Galicia. Since my husband is Spanish, this dish has become a bit of a classic in our house and I thought I would share our recipe with you. Empanadas come in many different flavors, but they all have in common that a delicious filling is wrapped in a bread-like dough – hence the name (“empanada” literally translates to “enbreaded”).

It takes between 2-3 hours to make (including the time in the oven), but the taste is definitely worth the wait. Give it a try and let me know on Twitter or Instagram what you think!

Ingredients Dough

  • 500g wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 90g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 ml white wine (if you like; otherwise replace with oil and water)
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml lukewarm yeast water
  • 30 g fresh yeast

Making the Dough

  • Mix the wheat and the salt together. Add the eggs and the butter and mix. Add the white wine and the olive oil. Mix again.
  • In a separate container, dissolve the fresh yeast in lukewarm yeast water. Slowly add it to the flour-egg-butter-mix.
  • Mix the dough for 5-10 minutes until you have a homogeneous mass.
  • Oil a bowl, put the dough in it, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for 1 to 1½ hours. The dough should double its volume.
  • While the dough rests, you can start preparing the filling.

Ingredients Filling

  • 2 mid-sized onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or more, if you like)
  • 4 bell peppers (2 of them green, the rest as you like)
  • 400g (canned) chopped tomatoes
  • 350g (canned) tomato purée
  • 170g green olives
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 300g of canned tuna

Making the Filling

  • Peel and chop up the onions and cloves of garlic into fine pieces.
  • Sauté them in a bit of olive oil in a big pot or pan.
  • Chop up the bell peppers and add them to the onions and garlic in the pan. Fry for 12-15 minutes until they are crunchy. Make sure not to burn them, so you may have to add a bit more oil.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato purée to the mix. Boil for another 15 minutes until the liquid is almost gone and the sauce has become highly condensed.
  • Cut the olives into thin rings. Then cut the hard-boiled eggs into pieces.
  • Once the sauce has become condensed, add the olives, the eggs, and the tuna.
  • Mix it all and season it with salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you want.

Making the Empanada

  • You need an additional egg.
  • Knead the dough one more time, then divide it into two parts and form two balls with your hands. Let the two balls rest in separate places for another 10-15 minutes. The doughs should rise again a little bit.
  • Oil a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180° C.
  • Roll out the first ball of dough between two pieces of baking parchment until it is slightly bigger than the baking tray. This will be the bottom half of the empanada. Peel off one sheet of baking parchment, place the dough onto the baking tray, and peel off the other sheet of baking parchment.
  • Spread the filling generously on top of the rolled-out dough. Leave a bit of room on the margins.
  • Roll out the second ball of dough between two pieces of baking parchment until it is roughly the same size as the baking tray. This will be the bottom half of the empanada. Peel off one sheet of baking parchment, place the dough onto the baking tray, and peel off the other sheet of baking parchment.
  • Join the top and bottom halves of the empanada by sticking the layers of dough together. The filling should be completely enclosed by the dough on all sides.
  • Crack an egg and mix it. Take a brush and paint the top of the empanada with the egg. With a fork, poke some holes into the empanada.
  • Put the baking tray into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180° C. The top should be a delicious golden-brown.

Pasta Salad

We eat this pasta salad quite often, especially in spring and summer when the weather is nice outside and we do not quite feel like eating “proper” warm meals. The salad is also a great addition to any buffet and brunch.

Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter if you tried the salad. I would love to hear from you!

Pasta salad with goat cheese and dried tomatoes.

Ingredients

(enough for 4 people)

For the Salad
  • 250g of pasta
  • 250g of goat cheese
  • 180g of dried tomatoes
  • 160g of fresh lettuce
  • 160g of black olives
  • optional: 150g of dried salami
For the Dressing
  • 90-100ml of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 3 teaspoons of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt (preferably with herbs)
  • optional: additional fresh garden herbs

How to Make It

  • Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Once the pasta is done, rinse it in cold water to prevent it from becoming mushy later. Put the pasta in a big bowl.
  • Cut the goat cheese and the dried tomatoes into pieces and add them to the bowl.
  • Add the olives to the bowl.
  • Wash the lettuce, dry it, and cut it into pieces. Add it to the mix in the bowl.
  • Optional: If you like, you can also add dried salami to the salad. Just cut it into pieces and add it to the mix.
  • Prepare the sauce and add it the salad. Mix it in well.
  • The pasta salad tastes best when you let it marinade in the sauce for a few hours. If necessary, add more salt and/or pepper afterwards.