These tiny teardrop-shaped German noodles are served as a potato substitute (though in Germany they are often served in addition to potatoes). They're good with all kinds of meats, and also as a soup garnish.
Sift flour with salt, and if you like, spices. Mix egg and water and add slowly to dry mixture. Beat hard until smooth (batter will be quite thick). Bring about 2 quarts of well-salted water (or chicken or beef broth) to a slow boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Balance a colander on the rim of a saucepan so that it is well above the water. Spoon about 1/3 of batter into colander, then carefully press through holes, letting spatzle fall into water. Cook for 3-4 minutes, lift out with a slotted spoon, and keep warm while cooking remaining spatzle. Toss spatzle with melted butter and serve hot.