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Italian Canederli Dumplings

#Canederli is the Alto Adige name given to bread #dumplings that in Austria and Germany are called “Knodel”. They are a typical first course that can be eaten in broth or dry with melted butter on top.

Canederli can be considered part of the peasant foods as they are made out of simple, inexpensive ingredients like stale bread soaked in milk and bound with eggs plus a tiny amount of flour.

The mix can be enriched with cheese and Speck (a kind of smoked ham typical of the north-east regions).

The legend says that one day in the 15th- and 16th-century a group of Landsknecht mercenary soldiers arrived in a South Tyrol farm and the commander threatened to set everything on fire if the owners did not have them something to eat. The farmer was alone at home with her daughters, but without getting scared told the girls to bring together every food they had at home; some old bread, onions, some eggs, speck and some flour adding a little bit of wild herbs from the garden.

Everything was mixed, divided into balls and boiled. The hungry mercenary were served with bowls full of these balls and they liked them so much that after a meal they fell into a deep sleep. " These cannon balls would also kill the most angry man" said the marveled commander, giving the farmer a couple of gold coins as a reward, before taking his leave with his troops.

INGREDIENTS: Per 4 servings 7 oz stale bread 7 oz milk 3 ½ oz speck 3 oz all-purpose flour 2 eggs ¾ oz parsley ⅛ oz chives 2 lb meat stock nutmeg to taste salt and pepper to taste


Take the soft inner of the bread, discarding the brown crust then cut into regular-sized cubes (2 inc). Put the cubes in a bowl with speck, chives, nutmeg, parsley plus beaten eggs. Add milk and allow the mix to soften. Mix to make the whole mixture compact and add flour to dry the excess of moisture. Season with pepper and salt and work the Add some flour to the mixture, to dry up any superfluous moisture. Season with salt and pepper and knead. Make small balls of the size of an apricot and toss them in the meat stock that is boiling but not too vigorous.

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