Canederli soup is bringing me back to Bolzano. I have always been in love with this wonderful town in the most northern part of Italy, Bolzano, located in the Alto Adige region. The city is located and surrounded by the Dolomites Mountains. The panoramic views are just breathtaking. Growing up, we were very fortunate to have an aunt that lived there. Her apartment was facing Piazza Della Vittoria and from almost every room we had a beautiful view of the mountains.
I have fond memories of the food in this region as well. Canederli soup is part of those fond memories. A mix of bread and speck. A very easy and super delicious recipe.
- Speck is a smoked ham that is available in Italian and German specialty stores. If you never tried it, you are in for a treat. If none available, smoked thick ham will do.
- Use day-old bread or stale bread. The best result is with any Italian loaves of bread or baguette. Do not use pre-sliced bread such as buttermilk, potato, 12 grains that are sold on the shelf. Not the same flavor and in some cases a bit on the sweet side. Trust me I tried that and not the same results.
- You can replace the onion with scallions or shallots if you have them on hand.
- Use good thick pancetta.
- Let the bread mixture rest between 30 to 60 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to bind together well.
- You can use chicken, beef, or vegetable stocks.
- Place some flour in the palm of your hands to roll the balls of canederli. Prevents it from sticking.
- You can prepare the canederli the day before and store them in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature when starting dinner.
- Sprinkle lots of parmesan cheese, optional step, however, you will enjoy the flavor that brings out.
A variant to this recipe
Make smaller canederli and cook them in salted water and season with melted butter and lots of parmesan cheese. Or, use tomato sauce instead.
Bolzano dates back before the Middle Ages.
Became part of Bavaria and was united to Austria in 1809. It belonged to the Austrian Empire until Italy acquired it at the end of World War I in 1918. During World War II Bolzano was heavily bombarded. After the war, the city was restored to his influential Austrian structure.
Bolzano or Bozen to this day is still a dual speaking town, Italian and German.
The city is divided by the Talvera river. The low bridge that divides the Old City Center, from the New City Center. Beautiful cast iron railing on each side of the road. Once crossed, towards the older part of the city, cars are sent to the surrounding streets leaving the city center free of any noise, cars. Pedestrians own the streets, shops own the “portici”. Fabulous shopping.
The Dolomites Mountains are so accessible and enjoyable during the winter with all sorts of winter sports, as well as during the warm months of summer. Therefore, we used to take a short car ride to the gondolas and 15 minutes later we were at the top of this stunning mountain looking down at the town. The air was just clean, the rolling hills inviting for us children to stay away from them.
We always enjoyed the beautiful promenades and after what seemed hours we would stop at this wonderful barn-like restaurant and enjoy this wonderful dish of “Speck”. Tyrolean salt-cured ham, fresh bread, strudel, and a chilled glass of white wine for the adults, and warm apple cider for us children.
Desserts were sinful. A simple apple strudel, fresh whipped cream cups, or a very delightful chocolate cake, dessert is just part of the day.
- 1 hr 20 mins total
- 30 mins prep
- 20 mins cook
- 30 mins Resting
- serves 4 people
10 ounces day-old bread, preferably Italian
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces pancetta
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
½ small yellow onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock
graeted parmesan cheese (optional)
⅔ cup flower
Cut the bread in small cubes and place in a bowl.
In a small frying pan sauté the onion with the butter. Add the speak and pancetta and sauté for a couple of minutes. When done place with the bread.
In a small bowl mix the eggs with the milk, add the parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add the mixture to the bread onion mix. Let it rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour to flavor thoroughly.
Add the flour to the mixture, mix well, and then prepare balls. Add some flour to your hands and roll in the cavity of your hands. If the bread mix is too soft add more flour, if too hard add a bit more milk.
Form small balls, 2 inches diameter, in the cavity of your hand and roll them lightly in the flour to barely cover.
Bring stock to a boil and then add the canederli. When they float to the surface, boil for another 10 minutes, then drain with a slotted spoon.
Place 2-3 canederli in each serving bowl, and top with chicken stock.
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