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Kärntner Nudel

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The "Kärnter Käsnudel" (or "Kärtner Nudel") is the most famous traditional Carinthian dish (Carinthia is a "Bundesland"/Province in the south of Austria). It is well known throughout this province but you will not necessarily find it in other austrian provinces. It's not known internationally.

It is a boiled dough pocket ("Teigtasche") filled with cooked potatoes and curd cheese. The filling is flavoured with a bit of roasted onions and cutted mint leaves (or chevril) as well as a bit of salt and pepper. The mix of doug, potatoes and curd cheese gives it a very special typical taste, that is underlined and "freshed up" by the mint leaves. It's served either fresh, directly form the boiled water with a bit of fused butter or put into melted butter and "roasted" a bit. Roughly spoken you can compare it with "Tortellini" (Italy) or "Pelmeni" (Slavic Countries).

Additional Info: - Austrian curd cheese: The austrian curd cheese (= "Topfen"/"Bröseltopfen") differs from the german one (= "Quark"). The austrian version is more dry and grainy.

- "Grindeln"/"Kerndeln": The traditional way to close it, is to "grindeln" (or "krendeln"). That means to close the dough pocket making little waves when pressing the ends together (see picture). This is the classical way to prepare and serve it. As to "grindeln" is quite laborious, sometimes the dough pocket is closed just by pressing the dough togehter and "glue" it that way.

- Travellers will find slight variations of "Kärntner Käsnudel" depending where in Carinthia they are. Sometimes the "Kärtner Nudel" are filled only with potatoes ("Kartoffelnudel" - potatoe dough pockets). In some areas roasted onions is not used and sometimes they dough pockets are flavoured with chevril instead of mint leaves.

- Sweet version: It's also possible to transform it into a sweet dish, stuffing it with apple/cinnamon ("Apfeltaschen") or dried plums/pears with curd cheese ("Kletzennudel").

Preparation: Prepare a dough (flour, water, egg, salt and a twist of oil) and roll it out quite thin. Cut out a ring shaped pasta (diameter around 5-8 cm). Prepare the filling (cooked and pressed potatoes, curd cheees, roasted onion and mint leaves mixed together) an put it onto the pasta. Fold the pasta in the middle and close it at it's end to have a dough pocket. Put it into boiling water and brew it (no boiling!) for about 10 minutes. Serve them either hot and fresh with a bit of fused butter or put them for some minutes into melted butter (after brewing). Goes best with a bouquet of fesh green salat.

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