Cooking with Jonathan By Jonathan Jolicoeur

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In this weekly culinary column, I will be focusing on one dish – giving the reader a quick history of the dish, the classical preparation of it, and of course, my own spin on the classic

This week I have chosen to cover spatzle – which translates to English as “little sparrows” from the German dialect of Swabian. Spatzle are a soft egg noodle that can be found throughout Central Europe, specifically in the cuisines of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary. This first mention of spatzle in history can be found in documents dating back to 1725.

Traditional spatzle recipe

1 cup​All purpose flour
1 tsp​Salt
1 whole​Egg,beaten
2 oz​Water

Mix flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Slowly pour in water as needed until dough is light, smooth and firm. Set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place a large pot full of salted water over high heat and allow to come to a boil. Push dough through the holes of a metal colander directly into the boiling water. If the dough is too firm it can be pushed through a ricer. Once noodles start to float, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon. Serve room temp with your favorite sauces.

Jonathan’s spatzle recipe

2 cups​All purpose flour
1 tsp​Sea salt
2 whole​Eggs, beaten
4 oz​Water
1 tbsp​Thyme, fresh, chopped
1 tsp​Black pepper, freshly cracked

Mix flour, salt, thyme and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Slowly pour in water as needed until dough is light, smooth and firm. Set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place a large pot full of salted water over high heat and allow to come to a boil. Push dough through the holes of a metal colander directly into the boiling water. If the dough is too firm it can be pushed through a ricer. Once noodles start to float, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon. Serve room temp with your favorite sauces.

Jonathan’s spatzle sauce

8 oz​Pancetta, ½ in dice
1 whole​Onion, sliced
1 cup​Whole milk
1 tbsp​All purpose flour
½ cup​Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 tbsp​Chives, minced
1 tsp​Cooking oil
to taste​Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper

Warm a large saute pan over low-medium heat. Place cooking oil and pancetta in pan. Allow fat to render, roughly 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook pancetta until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Add your onions and cook until the onion starts to caramelize, turning golden brown. Sprinkle onions with flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until the milk begins to bubble and thicken. Gradually sprinkle your gruyere cheese into the mixture until fully incorporated. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Toss spatzle in enough sauce to fully coat. Sprinkle with crispy pancetta and chives. Serve warm and enjoy.

Whether you choose to prepare the classic, my twist or your own interpretation, remember that food is about bringing people together and that the act of cooking is about caring and as long as your heart is in the dish you prepare, the people you are cooking for will appreciate it (and you).

If you have any questions for me or would like to see me cover any particular dish in this column, feel free to write me, care of this publication. From my kitchen to yours, it is my pleasure to give you a peek into the mind of a chef. Thank You

Jonathan Jolicoeur is a chef at A Tavola – an Italian restaurant on Church Street in Winchester – which focuses on “farm to table” style of cooking. Jonathan was born in Somerville, lives in Woburn and has a degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

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