Time: 1 hour plus (recommend that the spaetzle be made ahead of time)
  Difficulty: moderate
  Serves: 4


  • 500 g canned chickpeas, including the liquid in the can

  • 2 large eggs or 3 small ones

  • about 270 g all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or as desired

  • 2 cloves garlic, cut into large pieces

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 1 small to medium head of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces


  • Puree the chickpeas and their liquid, then add the eggs and mix in well. Add the flour and salt, mixing it all until it forms a thick, sticky, dough/batter. If you need more flour or less, adjust it accordingly. Once you have made some of the dumplings you will know.

  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly to a slow boil.

  • To make the spaetzle, you can use a special spaetzle making gadget, which pushes a small amount of dough into the water as you turn the handle, or you can use a colander with large holes, or simply a large spoon or spoon with holes in it.

  • Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon as soon as they bob up to the surface. Set aside to cool.

  • I like to make these ahead of time and just warm them through with the braised broccoli; when freshly made they tend to fall apart more easily, and turn to mush.

  • Another trick is to make some of the dumplings quite large, it’s easiest that way anyhow, and then when cool and you are cooking them with the broccoli, simply cut up the large dumplings to fit with the smaller ones.

  • Set aside all of the cooked spaetzle, and chill until ready to use; overnight up to two days, is perfect.

  • Make the broccoli: this also may be done ahead: heat the garlic in olive oil in a large pan, then sprinkle with the chili flakes and cook a moment or two, until the garlic is golden.

  • Add the broccoli, stir together, then a little bit of water, say, 125 ml, and cook slowly for about 15 minutes over a low heat until the broccoli is tender. Season with salt and set aside.

  • When ready to serve the dish, lightly sauté the spaetzle, and serve on a platter, sauced with the broccoli.