Spätzle are little pastalike dumplings often buttered and served as a side dish. They’re formed by dropping bits of dough directly into a pot of boiling water. That’s easy if you happen to have a special spätzle maker. If you don’t, you can improvise, using almost any utensil with holes—as long as you can push a thick batter through them, todao says on Chowhound.

If your stockpot has a steamer insert, you can use that to form spätzle, scraping the batter back and forth across the holes with a flexible spatula. You can also use a large-holed colander, or the large holes on a cheese grater. GardenFresh says that a potato ricer works well. And a perforated grill pan is paulj‘s tool of choice.

For more tips on spätzle, take a look at this CHOW video.

Discuss: Does passing spaetzle dough through a cheese grater really work?

Photo of CHOW’s Herbed Spätzle recipe by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com

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