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Spätzle, gnocchi, dumplings - share your recipes!

 
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Hi all,

it looks like there are some spätzle lovers outside of Germany!
In this thread we can share recipes "beyond pasta" including your favourites, be it spätzle, gnocchi, dumplings or similar.

Tell us how you call them, prepare them, how you serve them, and what you love about them!

I will make a start with spätzle as I grew up with them.
 
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I make spatzle and gnocchi I do a lot of British dumplings but since those do not contain any egg and do contain a raising agent I don't consider them related

I don't really use recipes but my spatzle is (for 2 people) 2-3 eggs a pinch of salt and enough flour to make a sticky dough, pile it up on a board and slice it off into water.

Gnocchi are again a no recipe deal, here I use mashed vegetables/potato often I use squash mixed about 50/50 with flour, around 1 egg per 2 cups of vegetables and a pinch of salt.

The spatzlel are used in soup and the gnocchi are frozen and then used as pasta in winter when I don't have time to cook, they get dropped frozen into boiling water, boiled around 10mintues and then fried in some butter and served with whatever sauce I feel like at the time. Here's half a batch waiting to go in the freezer, these particular ones are made with zucchini mash.
DSC_0277.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC_0277.JPG]
 
Anita Martin
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OK, here we go with a basic SPÄTZLE recipe.

Spätzle are also called Spatzen in Bavaria, both meaning little sparrows. To make them, you either need a special sieve with round holes, a kind of grate, a press or you cut the dough from a board into the water (only for experienced Swabian housewives).

The mix is very quick and straightforward, so the first thing to do is to set a large pot of water on the stove to boil, add salt once boiling.

Dough:
As a generous side dish for a family, either for meat and gravy or to accompany a hearty salad, use the following measurements (in metrics):
500 g flour (all purpose is fine)
375 ml water
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt

Mix with a wooden spoon (just make sure there are no bigger clumps of flour).
Use either of the contraptions above explained and push half of the dough into the boiling water. With a slotted spoon, separate them a bit and make sure that they are not sticking on the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat and let spätzle rise once or twice. After about 3 minutes the first batch can be taken out with the slotted spoon and left on a colander.
You can now rinse them if you like in order to "unstick" them, then if you don't serve them immediately you can put them in a buttered pyrex form, mix with a bit of butter and if you like, cover with grated cheese and roasted onions once the second batch is ready as well.
BTW, the spätzle in my picture are also called "Knöpfle" (buttons, buds) as they are rounded; some people only call the longish ones Spätzle.

Stick them in the oven to melt the cheese to your liking.
Serve with a nice salad with some creamy dressing (like ranch dressing) or serve with a gravy and meat / vegetarian gravy or cream of mushroom sauce.

For a very classic Swabian approach, you could serve them with cooked lentils and smoked ham/sausages.
The Alpine classic is vegetarian with a generous serving of cheese and onions in a hot castiron pan.

And as Skandi wrote in her post, spätzle do freeze well or can be made quite ahead of a meal.


IMG_20210207_172227.jpg
My heirloom spätzle colander
My heirloom spätzle colander
IMG_20210207_175100.jpg
Leftover of today's spaetzle
Leftover of today's spaetzle
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

500 grams flour == 4 cups of all purpose flour (different flours will be slightly more or less)
375 ml water == 1.58 cups
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt

 
Anita Martin
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Skandi Rogers wrote:I make spatzle and gnocchi I do a lot of British dumplings but since those do not contain any egg and do contain a raising agent I don't consider them related

I don't really use recipes but my spatzle is (for 2 people) 2-3 eggs a pinch of salt and enough flour to make a sticky dough, pile it up on a board and slice it off into water.



Skandi, you are brave to slice the dough into the water! The shape will be more like traditional homemade noodles but I never tried.

Please share your British dumplings recipe, never heard of it. This thread is open to all kinds of pasta-alikes!
 
Anita Martin
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Here is another simple spätzle recipe using frozen, chopped spinach. My kids liked them and they got to eat some greens!


Spinach spätzle
Dough:
For a small serving:
200 g chopped spinach, thawed (plain or seasoned and with cream)
200 g flour (allpurpose works fine)
2 eggs; plus salt if the spinach is not seasoned

For a bigger pack of spinach you can use the following proportion:
450 g spinach, thawed
250 g flour
2 eggs

Beat together and prepare as above.
 
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Great thread!...... And an additional challenge.     What dumpling recipe (potato, etc.) would employ the least amount of grain flour?   I like to make gravy with vegan seitan 'beef tips' or sometimes chik'n strips and would like something other than mash potatoes for the starchy item with which to serve it.  Would really like spaetzle with this meal....but would even be better if there was a spaetzle variation with little gluten which already is packed into the seitan.  Thanks!
Edited to add that I do have a decent egg replacer so that part is taken care of already.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Anita Martin wrote:

Skandi, you are brave to slice the dough into the water! The shape will be more like traditional homemade noodles but I never tried.

Please share your British dumplings recipe, never heard of it. This thread is open to all kinds of pasta-alikes!



Not so much brave as deficient in the kitchenware department. I've found that how nice they come out is entirely dependent on the texture of the batter/dough (it's kind of in-between) AND how much patience I have! An Austrian ex taught me how to do it. they served them with a lentil and preserved meat soup.

How I make dumplings is thus..

Self raising flour (can use plain flour and baking powder)
Beef suet or vegetable suet (you can use any other solid fat at a pinch)
salt and water.
herbs or other flavourings if liked

Use around 1/3 fat and 2/3 flour by weight, if you are using suet it should be in small shreds, for any other solid fat get it very cold and grate it, then stir the fat into the flour do not rub it in just stir to mix, so now you have flour with small lumps of fat all through it, add the baking powder if needed and salt add enough water (you can use milk if you like) to make a sticky dough, you should be able to form it into balls but it will want to stick to your hand.
Drop these balls into boiling water/soup/stew and cover with a lid, cook for around 10-15minutes don't take the lid off while they are cooking or they will deflate.
Serve as soon as they are cooked, they do not keep well as they sink and become solid.

These dumplings come out like a soft fluffy bread and sit immersed in the liquid they should not have hard browned tops (that's a cobbler and is a different mix :p) they rise from the raising agent but they have extra holes where the fat melts into the flour as well which is why it is important not to rub the fat into the flour. They are the same mix as one would use for a boiled pudding's case.
This photo is not mine but mine look much like this

Stolen from this blog
 
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My basic spaetzle recipe is:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 milk

Some variations I've made, substituting half of the flour with rye flour and adding some caraway seeds.
Or decreasing one egg, adding 1 cup pumpkin puree and upping the flour by 1/2 cup.

I like to boil them earlier in the day, and then just pan fry them up in butter right before dinner.

Gnocchi
6 potatoes baked, scooped out and put through a ricer or food mill
2-3 eggs
2+ cups of semolina flour

Combine all ingredients, roll out into snakes, cut into inch long pieces. Can be done early. I put pieces on sheet pans sprinkled with more semolina. Boil when needed. Or just like the spaetzle, they can be pre-boiled and reheated in a pan.

I have seen some recipes for spaetzle using acorn or chestnut flour, although they usually contain wheat flour as well, but those of you that are grain free could experiment.






 
Anita Martin
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Stacy gave us a classic potato gnocchi recipe, here is another one:

Ricotta gnocchi

This recipe is for two eaters, but I always double it (because I use Quark which comes in returnable 500 g jars and we are more eaters)

250 g Ricotta; I use German Quark which is very frugal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_(dairy_product))
                    you could also use other curd cheese, fromage blanc or fresh cheese, but not cream cheese or greek yoghurt (will be too runny)
1 egg yolk (instead I use 1 complete egg for the double amount)
30 g  grated cheese like Parmigiano
50-75 g flour, depending on the consistency of your ricotta/replacement
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together. Be careful not to incorporate too much flour even if the dough seems very soft and sticky! This is not for the faint-hearted ;-)

Prepare a big pot of water for boiling, adding salt once it boils.

Generously flour your countertop/surface. Scrape contents of bowl onto counter. With the help of a scraper (I have several plastic ones I got in the mill shop) part in two, and then again in two.
With generously floured hands, shape rolls of dough with the diameter of a small cherry. Cut off chunks with the scraper, always dusting with flour as necessary.

With a board or similar slide the gnocchi into the boiling water, reducing heat to simmering.

They are ready when they float on top, and they will be fluffy and delightful!

Either serve with your favourite pasta sauce, or with a slotted spoon scoop them into a hot pan where you have heated olive oil and a generous amount of butter with sliced garlic, parsley, or as I prefer, crispy sage leaves. Add salt and pepper and additional grated cheese.

ETA: I couldn't find a decent conversion table, so if you direct me to one or give the notes in a comment I could amend my recipe for non metric users.


 
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grandma's chicken & dumplings
 
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John Weiland wrote:What dumpling recipe (potato, etc.) would employ the least amount of grain flour? ... egg replacer...


I still think gnocchi is great without any egg (or egg replacer) with mashed potato or sweet potato (if you have sweet sweet potatoes, a sage and caramelized onion side is a very nice accompaniment).
The classic recipe I have always used is from Vegan with a Vengeance, and uses 2 pounds of potatoes to 1.5 cups flour, plus 2 T olive oil. Note the potatoes are roasted and not boiled.

Once I got that one down I started using mashed squash/pumpkin (any kind), mashed carrot, mashed beet, anything mashable replacing the liquid does pretty well. You could conceivably use other flours (buckwheat, teff, chickpea) but your texture is going to get funky (not necessarily a bad thing).
 
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... Spaetzle!! - my mother was Swabisch, so we had them often... scraped off small cuttingboard into boiling water with a special scraper thing, or the back of a table knife (dipped into the hot water every few scrapes)... best with lentils und seidenwurst! - or fried with butter, onion, and maybe an egg or two scrambled in... they make leberspaetzle in Germany (looks awful)     :b
 
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Spätzle are no part of my culinary universe so I kept trying and failing to visualize the tricky-sounding operation of "slicing the dough into the water".  For the life of me I could not imagine how you'd get something analogous in shape to dough pressed through the special colander with the big holes.  Finally I had to YouTube it, whereupon all became clear:



It's not something I'm gonna mess with (gnocci are more my speed) but at least now I understand the operation being described.
 
Anita Martin
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Dan Boone wrote:Spätzle are no part of my culinary universe so I kept trying and failing to visualize the tricky-sounding operation of "slicing the dough into the water".  For the life of me I could not imagine how you'd get something analogous in shape to dough pressed through the special colander with the big holes.  Finally I had to YouTube it, whereupon all became clear:


Thanks for the video, loved it! It is like one of those cooking videos about Italian grannies making pasta, including the hard to understand dialect (well, I am ok, but some Northerners might struggle). I bet she made spätzle this way a thousand times already!
 
Anita Martin
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For some time now I wanted to try Wareniki, an Ukrainian pasta/dumpling dish.
Yesterday a recipe came up in my online news magazine, and I had mushrooms and some boiled potatoes on hand so I tried them today. There are other varieties throughout Russia and Ukrainia but I stuck with this recipe.

Wareniki

Dough:
500 g flour
1 egg
150 ml water, roughly (I needed more)
salt
Combine thoroughly for several minutes (I used my Kenwood), set to rest for half an hour.

Filling:
300 g boiled potatoes (I had three medium ones, could have been three biggish ones)
200 g mushrooms
1 onion
1 tablespoons butter

Chop the onion and fry in butter, add chopped mushrooms, sauté for some minutes, season with pepper and salt. Mix with the peeled and mashed potatoes.

Roll out dough thinly, and with a glass or similar cut out circles. Wet the rim, fill with 1 teaspoon of filling, close and press and if you are apt, make a nice border (or use a fork).

Boil a big pot of water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a bay leaf. When boiling, reduce heat and insert wareniki. They are ready when they float. I had to unstick some of them from the bottom of the pot.

Serve with melted butter or sour creme sauce (I improvised on this).
I had some dough left so either I was too generous with the filling or rolled out very thin (but it is always hard to have filling and dough match exactly).
I got more than 50 little wareniki so we can have another meal tonight.

Our verdict: Three of us liked them really well (including myself), one daughter was not enthusiastic, the son only tried one.
IMG_20210210_115753.jpg
Mixing the filling
Mixing the filling
IMG_20210210_121704.jpg
Cutting out the dough circles
Cutting out the dough circles
IMG_20210210_132124.jpg
Ready to eat
Ready to eat
 
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My German Austrian family made them with same ingredients as yours with a pan very much like that  but dropped then in buttered browned bread crumbs.  Sweet and sour Calf hearts sliced thin were made with sauerbraten spices.  This was uttely divine served with thinly spided sliced red German cabbage slaw.    Oh my.. over Spatzes it is perfection.  



 
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I worked in Southern Germany in a typical 'bädische Küche" restaurant and made Spätzle daily , what a messy and hard work doing it daily (muscles!), but beautiful too!
the ingredients were 1/1

30 eggs (M)
3kg flours
6-7 Tsp salt
1,2 lt water aprox.

(this is for about 20-25 even more portions)
no milk or butter added!

the trick when you roll em into the cooking water is as following:

use hot water on the utensils (soup ladle) and it won't stick as much on your as you get them on the spaetzle planer (spaetzle hobel)
add some oil in the cooking water to prevent them from sticking and use a fleischgabel, meat fork to stir it and separate them
of course water for cooking them must be salted
shock them in cold freezing water once they cooked.

I really liked the green wild garlic version (bärlauch) which needed a bit less eggs and the mix of wild garlic with some water (like a pesto you could say).
They store well up to 3-4 days in the fridge but taste best when fresh of course.
 
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I make mini spaetzle with a regular colander. It's almost like eating rice. Any flour at all (last time was sweet potato) a bunch of eggs, salt, and however much water is needed to press it through the holes with a rubber spatula. I used to live in Alsace, and they go heavy on the eggs there.
 
Thomas A. Cahan
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.... Salivating re the Swabisch food.... one favorite - Maultasche !! - a giant ravioli - type  meat pastry served in a bowl of broth and herbs..... WAAAAAA !!!
 
Anita Martin
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Thomas A. Cahan wrote:.... Salivating re the Swabisch food.... one favorite - Maultasche !! - a giant ravioli - type  meat pastry served in a bowl of broth and herbs..... WAAAAAA !!!


Maultaschen are a fit for this thread!

They should be easy enough to make yourself. When my kids were smaller I sometimes served them Maultaschen, cut in stripes and fried in butter (they are regular supermarket stock).

To begin with, here is a recipe in English that seems easy enough:
https://thetakeout.com/recipe-maultaschen-germany-meat-dumplings-1827664726

And here is a recipe that includes the dough (in cups ):
https://ramshacklepantry.com/traditional-german-maultaschen-recipe/

... but you could easily use the dough I used for the Wareniki (see upthread). In fact, today I used the remaining dough to make little wantons for soup and I thought how similar the dough is. I rolled it out by hand, not using a pasta machine.
 
Thomas A. Cahan
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.... please stop; getting hungry/dizzy... Oh German food.....
 
Stacy Witscher
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I agree with Thomas, lots of wonderful recipes here. I love German food. While my heritage is largely German, our family has had to rediscover the joys of German cooking as none of my grandmothers could cook. It was such a joy to find a good German restaurant in southern Oregon, granted their jagerschnitzel isn't as good as mine, but they make some very nice sausages.
 
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.... wow - didn't even think of Pierogies... Oh so good.... butter please.
 
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In Vienna my grandmother makes Eiernockerl, translated something like egg spatzle. There are no measurements in her kitchen when she taught me. She puts flour into a bowl, adds some salt and a bit of oil, two or three eggs and mixes it up until it becomes a very sticky dough. Very much like in the other descriptions. Into a pot with boiling saltwater she puts the Nockerl with a teaspoon. First the spoon gets dipped into to hot water, a bit of dough cut out with the teaspoon and immersed into the water. She repeats this process until the surface is covered. After 4 minutes they are ready to be ladled out. The next batch goes in. My grannie is very fast at it, and they are very similar in size. After 70 years of practice mine will be perfect too;)
Then she fries them with some butter in a pan, adds another few eggs and scrambles the eggs around the Nockerl. Salt and pepper on top- ready to eat. Delicious and quick meal (at least when my grandmother cooks it).
Traditionally in a vienesse pub you get them with goulash and without the scrambled egg.
 
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Great thread with wonderful sounding recipes. Thank you for starting it, Anita!
 
Annie Collins
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John Weiland wrote: Edited to add that I do have a decent egg replacer so that part is taken care of already.



Which egg replacer do you use, John?
 
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From my German sister, who says this was a frequent meal with the kids helping in preparation:

KAESESPAETZLE
from
Julia Habermaas


PER PERSON: 2/3 cup flour
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
small amount of milk
¼ large onion
¼ to ½  lb. Swiss cheese (Emmentaler)
(One large onion and 1-2 lb. Of cheese will serve 4-6
people.)

Set a large pot of water on to boil.  While it heats slice onion thinly and shred cheese.

Preheat oven at 200? F.

Measure flour into a bowl, add a small amount of milk and salt.  Mix together and add egg.  The batter should be runny, but not so much that it drips; out of the spaetzle machine without help.  Test a little, more flour or milk can be added as needed.

When batter is to your liking, fill the machine and slide the top back and forth over boiling water.  When spaetzle float to the top, skim them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a 9”X9” casserole dish.  Cover with a layer of shredded cheese, and place in oven.  Repeat process until batter is used up.  Finish with a layer of cheese.

Tip:  You may use two pots of water, transferring the just made spaetzle into the second pot to finish cooking, and starting a new batch right away.

While the spaetzle are being made, the sliced onion should be browning at a low temperature on a back burner.  When the onion is dark brown strew it on top of the kaesespaetzle.

Serve with salad.
 
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And a photo of the "spaetzle machine."  A colander and spoon will also serve.
20210213_110926.jpg
Spaetzle Machine
Spaetzle Machine
 
John Weiland
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Annie Collins wrote:

John Weiland wrote: Edited to add that I do have a decent egg replacer so that part is taken care of already.



Which egg replacer do you use, John?



My egg replacer is a mixture:  For one egg, use about 1 tsp. Chia protein powder with 1-1.5 Tbls. chickpea flour mixed, as powders, together with 1/4-1/2 tsp. Himalayan black salt (kala namak).  Then add water (~1/4 - 1/3 c.) and mix to get desired consistency.  I used this for baking, but if making scrambled "eggs", I add tofu for texture.  You may wish to play around with the ratios of the three powders to get the consistency or end result that you desire.  Good luck!
 
Annie Collins
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John Weiland wrote: My egg replacer is a mixture:  For one egg, use about 1 tsp. Chia protein powder with 1-1.5 Tbls. chickpea flour mixed, as powders, together with 1/4-1/2 tsp. Himalayan black salt (kala namak).  Then add water (~1/4 - 1/3 c.) and mix to get desired consistency.  I used this for baking, but if making scrambled "eggs", I add tofu for texture.  You may wish to play around with the ratios of the three powders to get the consistency or end result that you desire.  Good luck!



Thank you, John! I have all those ingredients, even the black salt. I am definitely going to give this a try - it sounds very promising!
 
Mk Neal
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Another dumpling recipe; these are king of like really big Spaetzle.

POTATO SOUP & EGG BALL DUMPLINGS
from
Vicki Neal

5 medium potatoes, peeled & diced 5 ½  cups broth (3 14.5oz cans)
1 medium onion, chopped ½ gal whole milk
1 tablespoon dried parsley salt to taste

Dumplings: 2 eggs beaten
flour (enough to form dough that can be dropped from a
spoon)

Bring broth to boil, add diced potatoes and onions.  Beat eggs and flour together to form dumpling batter.  Drop dumplings into simmering broth, cover and cook until potatoes are done.  Add milk and parsley, heat through DO NOT BOIL.
 
John Weiland
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Thomas A. Cahan wrote:.... please stop; getting hungry/dizzy... Oh German food.....



Yeah....I had no idea this thread would have so many great variations!  One of my favorites is Ungarisches Gulasch (Hungarian Goulash) which has a great paprika spiced gravy that is served with dumplings or spaetzle.
 
Thomas A. Cahan
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.... oh yeah - had hungarian gulash u. spaetzle growing up...    

... dug out the board and scraper; made sauerbraten gulash, spaetzle, und rotkohl for Valentine dinner - Wife and I ate it all....
 
Thomas A. Cahan
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.... here is Mother's spaetzle hobel and nifty scraper; beats using the back of a knife.      
20210215_081007.jpg
spaetzle hobel u. scraper
spaetzle hobel u. scraper
 
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Forgive me if I'm going too far outside the box here, but I have a "gnocchi" recipe that really isn't gnocchi at all, but something I invented as a grain-free alternative. They're baked instead of boiled, because they need the drying effect of an oven to help them hold together, but then you can douse them in sauce to make them moist again. I like to serve them gratin style with a garlic cream sauce and cheese browned on top.

Grain Free Pumpkin Gnocchi

2 cups pumpkin (any winter squash) puree
1 egg
1 tsp salt
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder

Mix up all ingredients, then transfer to a piping bag with a 1/2"(ish) opening or ziplock with the corner cut off.

On a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment, pipe many little blobs about 1" long.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then dress as you would boiled gnocchi.
 
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