Thursday, August 19, 2010


CANEDERLI! Or rather lets just call them an Italian Dumpling of sorts, seeing as there really is no good translation. It's hard to believe such wonderful lumps of goodness came from stale bread right? (or rather rushedly staled bread that was bought fresh that day). Technically this recipe comes from the Dolomites, the part of the Alps in Northern Italy where they use up day old bread and turn them into these delicious dumplings.

This all started as a project presented to me by my Italian, Livio, who came to visit me. He brought some recipes as requested and we decided to start with this one, the most difficult. Thus being able to conquer anything after this. The funnest part of actually assembling this was going to the local Kroger and trying to find all of the ingredients, from the recipe written in italian. Lets just say we ended up bickering in front of the confused deli guy over what exactly 'Speck' would be call in english haha.

So thus began the project. It is best if you have stale bread on hand but we "staled" ours up by just slicing it, toasting it in the toaster oven to dry it out, and letting it sit out on the counter all day. These little balls can be served in the broth you make them in, or as we did with butter and parmiggiano grated over. Please give them a try, even if the name is hard to pronounce, they are certainly worth it!


8 small stale breads (I would say roll size so if they are double that, than just 4)
2 cups of milk
20 g (1 tbsp) of butter
100 grams of pancetta about 1/4 of a lb (or bacon works!)
1 sausage (mild as possible)
1 onion (small dice)
1 small bunch of Parsley (also diced)
2 liters Broth (beaf or vegetable)
3 eggs

1. Tear the bread into small pieces:

like so

2. Bring the milk to a simmer, then take it off the heat and soften the bread in the milk for at least 30 minutes, or even up to a few hours.
3. Dice the pancetta or bacon into small pieces and saute it in the melted butter along with the onion, parsley. Take it off the heat after the fat is starting to render (you don't want it to crisp) and the onions start to soften.

4. Cook the sausage by poking holes in it to let the fat drain out, and then after its cooked and most of the fat is rendered out of it, chop it to pieces and add it to the pancetta/onion mixture.

5. Using a mixer of some sort (preferably a food processor) mix together the milk soaked bread, the egs, a pinch of salt, nutmeg and the pancetta mixture. Let this sit for a while so the flavours meld together

6. After the flavours have binded together a bit, form big dumplings wth your hands(about the size of a clementine) and cook them in boiling broth for 15-20 minutes. They will harden up even if they seem very doughy and soft at first, don't worry!

Ours looked like this!

7. After they are cooked, either serve them with the broth or take them out, pour a tiny bit of melted butter (just enough to coat) and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on them. Serve immediately hot!

Buon Appetite!

P.S. Thanks to Ado (Livio's dad) for the recipe and thanks to Livio for the good times in the kitchen! ti amo :-*


  1. This was really GREAT! - reminded me so much of Carbonnara, without the noodles. There was only one thing wrong - YOU DIDN'T MAKE ENOUGH FOR LEFTOVERS!!!

  2. should call this recipe "Americanedarli"!cause we used bacon instead of spek...this is pretty cool;)