Lulu La Delizia's saffron spätzle with Moreton Bay bugs

"The saffron spätzle dish at Lulu La Delizia is spectacular. I'd be most grateful for the recipe." - Luka Weber, Fremantle, WA

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You'll need

½ tsp saffron threads 400 gm (2⅓ cups) plain flour, sifted 4 eggs 120 gm softened butter, plus 15gm extra melted 4 large Moreton Bay bugs (see note), halved lengthways, deveined 100 ml chardonnay vinegar 100 ml olive oil   Pickled enoki ¼ cup (60 ml) chardonnay vinegar (see note) 1 bay leaf 100 gm enoki mushrooms, trimmed, separated into small bundles   Burro cotto 80 gm chilled butter, diced 12 sage leaves


  • 01
  • For pickled enoki, combine vinegar, bay leaf, 1 tsp salt, a pinch of pepper and 60ml water in a small saucepan, and bring to the boil. Place mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour in pickling liquid. Refrigerate until cool (15-20 minutes), then drain.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Infuse saffron in 200ml warm water for 10 minutes. Place flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add eggs, 15gm melted butter and saffron with its water, and slowly whisk from centre until combined and smooth. Using a large spoon, push a quarter of the mixture through a large-holed metal colander into the boiling water. As soon as spätzle float (20-30 seconds), remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into a lightly salted ice-water bath. Drain well, then dry on paper towels. Repeat in batches.
  • 03
  • For burro cotto, combine butter and sage in a small saucepan, season to taste and cook over over medium heat until milk solids sink (5-7 minutes; don’t allow them to brown).
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 250C. Spread 80gm softened butter over bugs and into head cavities and season. Transfer to a large ovenproof frying pan cut-side up. Roast for 8-10 minutes until flesh is just slightly raw in centre). Remove pan from oven, add remaining butter, toss until melted and deglaze pan with vinegar. Turn bugs over and roast until just cooked (2-3 minutes).
  • 05
  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add späztle and fry until light golden (2-3 minutes). Serve topped with burro cotto, pickled enoki, bugs and buttery pan juices, and season to taste.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Additional Notes

If Moreton Bay bugs aren’t available, use Balmain bugs, scampi, marron or yabbies. Chef Joel Valvasori-Pereza uses Alto vinegar, available from select delicatessens

Featured in

July 2017

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