Canederli – speck, cheese and bread dumplings

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Canederli are bread dumplings found in the northern Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy. A good way to use up stale bread, the canederli are flavoured with Alpine ingredients such as speck (a local cured meat) and cheese and are best served in a warming beef broth or tossed in brown butter with crispy sage. The perfect comfort food for a winter's day.

First published in 2019
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  • 200g of stale bread, diced (including crusts)
  • 200ml of milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 150g of Tyrolean speck, diced into lardons (or smoked pancetta)
  • 80g of Emmental, or local cheeses such as Venezza or Malga if you can find them, finely grated
  • 150g of flour
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

To serve

  • beef stock, homemade or very high quality
  • Grana Padano, grated


Dice the bread into smallish pieces (about 1cm) and combine with the milk. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg and leave to soak
Meanwhile, place a knob of butter in a pan over a medium heat. Once it’s starting to bubble, add the onions and speck. Sweat until the onions are soft and the speck is just starting to caramelise
Add the onion and speck mixture to the bread, along with the beaten eggs, grated Emmental, flour and parsley. Mix together then leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
Divide the mixture into 24 round balls around 2–3cm in size
Cook in batches in salted boiling water for around 5 minutes
Serve in bowls of warm beef broth with plenty of grated Grana Padano over the top

Discover more about this region's cuisine:

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