In Italy, soups can be a light, elegant way to open an evening meal or large banquet. January is National Soup Month, and the perfect time to curl up with a cozy bowl of warming Italian broth. This month I’m sharing a recipe that’s lesser known outside of Italy, but perfect to enjoy while dreaming of a weekend in an elegant Italian ski chalet!
Many regions of Northern Italy have strong Austrian roots. In the province of Trentino Alto Adige, for example, 40 % of the residents still speak German as a first language. Similar to Matzo Balls but made with bread, canederli are bread dumplings only found in the north-east of Italy (Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli, and part of Veneto), where they are served as a first course or as a main entree.
They are usually served in homemade broth, or pan fried and dressed in melted butter and chives. Try this recipe from Italian Recipes for Dummies the next time you’d like to transport your taste buds to the Dolomites!
Canederli/Bread Gnocchi in Broth from Alto Adige
PREP TIME: 15 MIN
COOK TIME: 30 MIN
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
* 2 cups cubed stale bread
* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 f3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
* 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, divided
* 1/2 cup Fontina cheese, finely diced
* 12 cups Vegetable Stock or Chicken Stock, divided
* 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, to serve
Serve in bowls -1 or 2 per person. Finish with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and remaining parsley.
Variations of this dish are common in all south-eastern Europe, where they are also served as an accompaniment to meat stews and roasts. The word canederli, in fact, derives from the German and Austrian knödel (dumplings).There are also sweet versions of the dumplings served for dessert.
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