Start to finish: 1 hour (30 active)
Servings: 4 to 6
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for salting the water
1 pound asparagus
1 pound shelled fresh or defrosted frozen peas
8 ounces assorted whole mushrooms, halved or quartered, if large
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
240 grams (about 2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish
Chopped fresh dill for garnish
Bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Break or cut off the bottom tough part of the asparagus and, if it is thicker than 1/3-inch, peel it from right underneath the tip all the way to the bottom of the stem. Working in a few batches, add the asparagus to the water and simmer until they are al dente but not cooked through (1 minute for thin asparagus and 2 minutes for thick), transfer them to a bowl of ice and water to chill. When they are chilled, pat them dry and slice them crosswise, at an angle, 1/2-inch thick. Set aside. If using fresh peas, add them to the water and simmer them until al dente, about 2 minutes. Use a strainer to remove them from the water and set them aside. If using defrosted frozen peas, do not cook them at this point (they were already blanched before they were frozen).
In a large skillet cook the mushrooms in the oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and cream and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In an electric mixer stir together the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt, add the eggs and 1 cup water and beat until the mixture is smooth. The consistency should be like that of thick pancake batter. If it is thicker, add additional water, a few tablespoons at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. Place the spatzle maker over the pot of boiling water and slowly pour the batter into the box, letting it drip down into the water. Boil for a few minutes (taste a piece of pasta to see if it is just al dente). Strain the spatzle and add it to the skillet along with the asparagus, peas and cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring, until just heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve right away topped with additional cheese, if desired, and the dill.
Nutrition information per serving: 450 calories; 195 calories from fat; 22 g fat (11 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 131 mg cholesterol; 358 mg sodium; 48 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 16 g protein.
Sara Moulton, Associated Press