Spaetzle with Smoked Kielbasa

By CHEF HOWARD KARP, for the Flathead Beacon

Here’s a recipe that comes from very little, but is highly satisfying. Spaetzle is a rough form of noodles or dumplings. There’s no rolling or cutting involved in making it – you just pass the dough through a greased colander into salted hot water. A few minutes later, when the noodles float to the top, all you do is put them into an ice bath to stop the cooking action. The tastiest way to finish them is in a sauté pan with butter, cooking them to a beautiful golden brown (noisette in French terms). An additional tip I learned while studying in Switzerland is to season them with sea salt, white pepper and grated nutmeg.

At The Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC, we would make our own kielbasa, but I’m sure you can also purchase wonderful sausage from your local artisanal producer. (Serves 6)



2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Coleman’s mustard powder
Sea salt for seasoning
3 large eggs
3/4 cup crème fraiche
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. grain mustard
2 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
White pepper
3 lbs. smoked kielbasa
Grated nutmeg for flavor


In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, dry mustard and ½ teaspoon of sea salt. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk eggs, crème fraiche, Dijon mustard, grain mustard and ¾ cups cold water. Using a spatula, fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough becomes totally incorporated with ingredients (you may have to use your hands because of the stiffness of the dough).

Bring a large pot of water with salt to a boil (have your water ice bath ready). Grease the inside of the colander, suspend over boiling salted water, place 1 cup of dough in colander and push through the slots with a wooden spoon. When the spaetzle floats to the top, remove with a skimmer and transfer to ice water. Continue the same procedure with the remaining spaetzle dough. Drain the späetzle noodle and pat dry. Add a little oil to noodles so that they will not stick together.

In a large sauté pan, add butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Heat, then add the spaetzle noodles to the pan, (try not to disturb by continuously stirring). The noodles will begin to turn golden brown. For some additional color, add a hand full of rainbow Swiss chard and allow it to wilt with the spaetzli. Season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.

Grill or sauté kielbasa until browned and warm. Slice and serve alongside of spaetzle.

Chef Howard Karp is an instructor at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. For more information about the program, visit