I love these wild garlic potato noodles even more than I love wild garlic spätzle. The wild garlic season in Germany is short. But in April wild garlic grows like a weed in Southern Germany. It is everywhere! So during its short season that lasts less than 2 months, wild garlic gets used extensively in all kinds of dishes.
Nowadays, you can find wild garlic for sale in supermarkets or at farmers’ markets. But it’s really a waste to pay money for it. It is just everywhere, at least if you live in Southern Germany. Just 10 minutes from my house, I can harvest as much wild garlic as I want in the forest!
I know that some people warn you that wild garlic can be mistaken for the poisonous lily of the valley. If you’re unsure, just rub a leaf between your fingers. If it smells like garlic, then it is wild garlic. Lily of the valley doesn’t smell like garlic and it tastes bitter. Also, the lily of the valley leaves grow in pairs of two while the wild garlic leaves grow single. It is no rocket science to identify wild garlic!
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Tips for preparing wild garlic potato noodles
I’ve already published the base recipe for German potato noodles. Of course, this recipe is only a rough guideline. You should modify recipes always to your taste preference. So for this wild garlic version, I’m going to double the number of egg yolks and add semolina to the noodles.
That is because I like these wild garlic potato noodles to have a firmer texture than the base recipe. The more flour, semolina, and egg yolks are in the dough, the firmer the noodles will become. The more you knead the dough, the firmer the noodles become. So feel free to play around with the dough until you like the texture of the cooked noodles.
The pictures below are for reference on how to shape the noodles. In English, these noodles are often called finger noodles. The Swabian name for this noodle shape is “Buabaspitzla” which translates to “little boy’s penis”.
2.5 ounces (70 grams) coarsely milled white wheat flour (“Instant Mehl” or “Doppelgriffiges Mehl” in Germany)
1 ounce (35 grams) semolina
1 ounce (35 grams) potato starch
2 egg yolks
1.5 ounces (40 grams) wild garlic
1 tablespoon butter
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
salt, to taste
For serving the noodles:
clarified butter, for frying the noodles
Cook the potatoes:
Leave the potatoes unpeeled and put them inside a large pot. Cover them with cold water and season liberally with salt. Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes simmer, covered, until completely tender which should take about 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness by poking the potatoes with a sharp paring knife. If the potatoes easily slide off the knife they are ready. Drain the cooked potatoes and peel them while they’re still hot. Alternatively, you can also steam the potatoes until tender.
Prepare the potato dough and shape your noodles:
Press the hot and peeled potatoes through a potato ricer or pass them through a tamis. Let the potato puree cool down before adding the flour, semolina, potato starch, egg yolks, wild garlic, butter, nutmeg, and salt. Knead the dough briefly until cohesive. Dust your work surface with flour and, working in batches, take some of the dough and roll it out into a sausage that is about 1 inch in diameter. Divide the dough into smaller pieces and form potato noodles by rolling the dough with the palm of your hand into the shape of a tapered cylinder, about the size of your little finger.
Cook the potato noodles:
Blanch the potato noodles in lightly simmering and salted water. Once they float on the surface, take them out of the water and put them in an ice-water bath to cool down (this prevents the potato noodles from sticking to each other!). Leave the cooled potato noodles on the counter to dry on the surface.
Serve the potato noodles:
Heat the clarified butter in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat and add the potato noodles in a single layer so that all of them have contact with the pan surface. Fry the potato noodles until crispy and golden brown on all sides.