Nockerl are the perfect side dish for traditional Austrian beef goulash. In fact, I can’t remember having beef goulash with a dark and thick gravy without a side of these Nockerl. Nockerl are Austrian-style gnocchi, more or less, but way easier to make. You simply stir together a batter, which you’ll drop into boiling salted water by the spoonful. That’s it. Isn’t this fantastic?
Before I tell you a little more about this terrific quick pasta dish, I’ve got some great news: I made my first video for the blog!!! Hope you like it. Drop me a line in the comments if you like it or if you are missing something. I’m happy for feedback.
I proudly present:
Nockerl: The movie.
This is the easiest fresh pasta from scratch that I know of. The batter comes together in 2 minutes and only needs 4 ingredients you’ll have on hand anyways: flour, eggs, milk, and salt.
However, I honestly don’t know how to accurately name this dish since Nockerl is basically German for gnocchi in Italian. Btw, gnocchi derives from Nockerl and not the other way round ;-). But still, I don’t feel comfortable to simply translate Nockerl to gnocchi since most of us associate gnocchi with a dough that contains potatoes or ricotta and has to be rolled into a rope and cut into pieces. So that’s quite some effort you have to put into making gnocchi.
These Nockerl on the other hand, are way faster and easier to make. You simply mix eggs, milk, salt, and flour and drop the batter into boiling water with a spoon. It doesn’t get any easier. That’s why I have decided to call these Nockerl spoon drop dumplings aka the easiest fresh pasta ever. They are basically gnocchi without potatoes and ricotta and without the annoying rolling and cutting part.
They are similar to Hungarian nokedli dumplings, a great side for chicken paprikash and a little larger than spaetzle, which are often made with a spaetzle maker (like I did in my cheese spaetzle recipe).
Transform leftovers into the best comfort food
If you have leftover Nockerl, you can make “Eiernockerl”, which translates to spoon drop dumplings with eggs. For this dish, you simply heat leftover Nockerl with a drizzle of oil in a pan and crack some eggs over these Austrian-style gnocchi. Season with salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley if you feel like it. Voila! It’s one of my favorite comfort foods ever, which I will definitely put on the blog some time soon. By the way, I didn’t make this dish up just now, even though it kind of sounds like that. Eiernockerl is a true favorite among Austrians, especially vegetarians, often listed on menus of traditional Austrian restaurants.
I can’t emphasize this enough: Beef goulash and Nockerl belong together. They are simply the dreamiest of all combos!
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