My mother was given this recipe from a friend back when I was in high school. It was a traditional recipe of her Eastern European family. Knefli is essentially large-form spaetzle in larger form. My mom’s friend served it with roast lamb and gravy. That was wonderful, but I’ve since adapted it as a vehicle for all kinds of sauces; often as a main-course pasta. It’s also great in chicken broth/stock; a chicken soup with homemade noodles that takes only about 10 minutes from start to finish if there’s chicken stock in your pantry or freezer.
My kids loved the mouth-feel of knefli’s irregular pieces. It’s so easy to make that I stood them on a chair even when they were quite small, helping them tip the bowl over boiling water so they could cut strands of the dough into it.
- 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 c. hot tap water
- 1 tsp. salt
Mix all the above ingredients in a large bowl to form a loose dough. You may need to add a little more water. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add about 2 T. salt. When the water is boiling, tilt the bowl of dough at a slight angle over the water and with a spatula or knife cut off the dough into shreds as it spills over the side of the bowl. Periodically dip the knife/spatula into the boiling water to clean off any dough that clings to it. The knefli should be done approximately 2 minutes after rising to the water’s surface. Drain and serve with the sauce of your choice, or cut the knefli into boiling chicken or vegetable stock for soup.