Mountain Recipe 2: Canederli

After a few months’ absence, I’m back to present this second Mountain recipe, called Canederli (accent on the first “e”: CanEderli). This is a much-beloved dish in the Northeast of Italy–from the Brenta valley to the Sudtirol, and it’s also much appreciated in Austria all the way East to Styria.

Like other dishes that I have presented, it is a representative of the “cucina povera” and uses as a main ingredient yesterday’s bread–which would be sacrilege to throw away.

Ingredients for four people:

~ 14 Oz soft bread (white is my favorite)
~ 7 Oz bacon or “Speck,” cut into small cubes
~ 2.5 Oz flour
~ 2 eggs
~ 1 midsize onion
~ Parsley
~ Milk, best if whole
~ Broth
~ Olive oil, salt, pepper

Soak the bread in lukewarm milk for about 3 hours. Then strain it thoroughly to obtain a firm, dough-like texture. Prepare a sautee by placing the onion, finely chopped, and the bacon in a casserole with oil over medium-low heat.

When the sautee is ready, discard the oil and add the contents to the bread. Mix together with the eggs, flour, salt and a pinch of parsley, making sure the whole is firm and homogenous.

Use your hands to form balls a bit smaller than a tennis ball, making sure they are nice and firm. Then, place them in a deep pot of boiling broth (I really like home-made chicken for this) and cook them until they float to the surface.

Enjoy them in a deep dish halfway filled with broth, to which you can add pepper and grated cheese. Some prefer to cover them with butter and sage instead.

This recepie is wonderful for this time of year, and it is particularly enjoyable after a day in the cold weather. A nice dry Northeastern or German white will go fantastically with it–as will of course a good, hearty table red.

Please let me know how this turns out.



2 comments on “Mountain Recipe 2: Canederli

  1. Looks good. I saw this on a commerical the other day, so thanks for posting the recipe.

  2. Our old “Tyrolean” recipe for Canederli is a bit different. We make a broth from a small chuck roast and onion. Then remove the meat and cool it until it can be cut into small (1/2″) pieces. Meantime we soak our bread (preferably day old Italian) in a little milk for a while (we leave it in the milk, so we don’t overdo it) then add the chopped beef, chopped hard salami pieces, celery, onions, parsley, eggs, flour, salt and pepper. We form the balls (about 1-1/2″ diam) and cook them in the beef broth. This is one of our family’s favorite dinners!

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