Easy comfort food that uses up all of your stale bread
These are called Canederli in Italian, Knödel in German. They are boiled bread dumplings that are commonly found in the north-East of Italy (especially in sud-Tirol) as well as other European countries like Austria and Eastern Europe.They are really easy and cheap to make too! They are part of the “cucina povera”, which was the simple cooking of the poor, using up leftovers.Canederli typically include a type of smoked cured meat called speck, but 1. You cannot find it in English supermarkets and 2. My husband doesn’t typically eat red meat, so I was never able to make these. A few months ago I found a traditional cookbook full of recipes from that region, and among them was this version of vegetarian Canederli. I gave it a go and it was approved all round! I leave you the recipe if you too have some old bread to use up and want to try it out!
- 500g stale crusty bread (from a few days to a month old)
- 3 eggs
- 500ml milk
- 100g flour
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
- 40ml olive oil
- 50g butter
- 50g parmesan
- Roughly cut into pieces the stale bread and put it in a bowl covering it with milk. Leave to soak for 1 hour.
- Cook the onion on a low heat with sone olive oil until translucent.
- Mix this together with the bread (lightly squeezed to get rid of excess milk), flour parsley and eggs. Mix well until it becomes a thick purée. Season.
- Form some small balls with your hands and then put them in boiling salted water. Boil them for a few minutes, and when they start to float, fish them out.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
- Plate them up, pour the melted butter on top and sprinkle plenty of grated Parmesan.