Whether you call that German-by-way-of-Genoa hybrid of dumpling and pasta spaetzle, spatzle, spatzen, or just "that dough stuff you drop into boiling broth," the folks at Norpro have fashioned a reasonably efficient way to prepare it. With their stainless-steel spaetzle maker--essentially a bottomless mining-car basket that runs along a flat cheese grater with bigger holes--cooks can load their favorite combo of egg/flour/milk (recipes for two spaetzle doughs are included) into the basket. By running the "mining car" along the rails of the stainless-steel grater, the batter is extruded into the waiting pot of boiling water or stock. At least, that's the theory: while the plastic basket is bottomless, it's also topless, meaning that, depending on the consistency of the batter, you may need to push it through the grater by hand--a bit daunting over a boiling pot. The grater base is also attached to a plastic handle via plastic tabs; one wishes for one-piece construction, though no doubt an all-stainless-steel fabrication would involve dropping a different kind of dough. --Tony Mason
Stainless steel grater with a plastic hopper this device quickly cuts through spaetzle batter into little dumplings. The hopper slides along cutting the surface while each pass of the hopper, the perforated devise drips dozens of perfectly formed dumplings right into your pot of simmering water.