Homemade Spatzle (Or, Finger Lakes, take two)

It's been exactly one week since we left for the Finger Lakes and now that we're back, we're reeling from the shock of both discovering (in Keepitcoming's case, rediscovering,) and leaving behind spatzle in a scant three days. Because last night was so beautiful and autumnal, we decided to relive the experience one more time and make spatzle with three kinds of sausages from the River Valley Market, one of our local favorites.Spatzle, like bread and gnocchi, is another of those freakishly simple and quick recipes that adds instant points to your foodie credentials. It takes literally no time at all, often less than making boxed pasta, and is easily customizable and twice as delicious.

Ingredients (serves four)
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg or paprika (we lacked nutmeg)
2 eggs
1/4 cup of milk

1. Start by boiling a pot of water. While reaching its optimum heat, mix together your dry ingredients.
2. Beat your eggs and measure your milk and make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients. Alternatively add your eggs and milk in small increments and mix thoroughly until elastic and combined.
3. Roll out your dough into a lump, maybe half an inch thick. With a large knife, slice off uneven bits and scrape them off onto your cutting board. The trick is to get little dumpling bits, not strips. Once they're all sliced, dump them into boiling water for eight to ten minutes or until very tender. If you've been frying something (like sausages) you can sautee the noodles to get a nice brown crust on them. Serve with butter and salt and eat immediately.The sausages we picked out were ones we'd been eying since the summer- chicken curry, mustard horseradish, and ginger scallion, all fried with a golden crust. Surprisingly, the former two sausages were simply not as satisfying as we'd expected them to be. Perhaps I'm just more used to leaner sausages, but the fat ratio (a level I normally like to be on the rich end) was simply too high and the saltiness was just overly intense. Nevertheless, unique and interesting flavors.

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