In the cold of winter, as many face snow storms and being confined to their homes for many days, soup is warming and easy to make. Rather than noodles, why not try Canederli, the traditional bread dumpling of the South Tyrol?

Bread, prosciutto/speck & cheese…what more could you want???

This is clearly a dish prepared by the Trentini (people from Trento) in the winter, from ingredients they have in their refrigerator most of the time. Very simple, but no less satisfying. Baked or put in broth, these little balls of goodness are sure to warm you from the inside out.

 

For 4-6 people, you need:

  • A liter of meat stock, any kind

  • 200 g stale/dried out bread

  • 100 g speck or salty prosciutto in one piece

  • 2 tbs grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

  • Half a yellow or white onion

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tbs flour

  • 1 tbs butter

  • 100 ml of milk

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Italian seasoning or chopped parsley

Start with about 200g of stale/firm bread – guess what? My mother-in-law sent a package for Christmas, so I had some for this recipe – yipee! There’s just something about this bread. Addictive.

Anyway, cut the bread into cubes and put in a large bowl. Add the milk and use a spoon to turn the bread over and over until it absorbs all the milk and the bread becomes soft.

 

Get speck if you can find it. It’s a bit saltier and cured differently from prosciutto crudo (cured ham), so it has a stronger flavor. Purchase it from a deli where you can ask for it in a single piece, and then cut it in a very small dice. I couldn’t find it so used a saltier prosciutto.

 Sautee’ half an onion, diced super finely to ensure equal distribution later, in 1 tbs of butter until it is translucent, add the speck and heat through. Add this to the bowl along with two eggs. Add a 2 tablespoons of parmigiano reggiano, grated, 1 tablespoon of flour and salt, pepper and dried Italian herbs to taste – I love to use my Pampered Chef Italian Seasoning. It’s so flavorful. Mix with your hands until well mixed, creating an almost dough like texture. Using a medium or large scoop, roll equal sized balls. You can roll them in flour to keep them together until you’re ready to cook them.

 

Bring a liter of broth to a light boil, whatever kind you want, and drop the balls into the broth. When they float to the top, they’re done. You can also bake them until golden brown.

Serve 2-3 balls, depending on size with broth poured over the top. My husband always adds parmigiano over the top, but that’s up to you!

Buon appetito!

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Canederli

Savory bread dumplings from the Southern Tyrol region. 

  • 1 liter meat stock (any kind)
  • 200 g bread (dried out works best)
  • 100 g speck or salty prosciutto (1 thick piece)
  • 2 tbps parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • pinch salt
  • dash pepper
  • Italian seasoning or chopped parsley (to taste)
  1. Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. 

    Add the milk and use a spoon to turn the bread over and over until it absorbs all the milk and the bread becomes soft.

  2. Dice the prosciutto/speck very small. Do the same with the onion, the smaller the better for better distribution.

  3. Sautee’ the onion in the butter until translucent. Add the speck and heat through.

  4. Add onion/speck mixture to the bowl with the bread along with the 2 eggs. Add the parmigiano reggiano, flour, salt, pepper and seasoning to taste. 

  5. Mix with your hands until well combined, creating a dough like texture. .

  6. Use a medium or large scoop, or large spoon, roll equal sized balls. Set on a plate or tray until ready to boil. 

  7. Bring your broth/stock to a light boil (if it’s too strong the dumplings will fall apart). Drop the balls lightly into the broth. When they float to the top, they’re done. 

  8. Serve 2-3 balls in a soup bowl, ladle broth over the top. Add sprinkled parmigiano if you wish. 

You can also bake the balls until golden brown.