Recipe: Prosciutto Bread Dumplings (Canederli)

This enticing recipe comes from Italy's northern region, and can be served several different ways.

The following recipe from Jerry Finzi appears on 

Canederli are bread dumplings found in the north-east of Italy (Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli, and part of the Veneto), typically served in beef broth, dry or with a sauce.

They are made using stale bread, milk, onions, parsley, eggs and a little flour. Often they are stuffed with speck (a smoked prosciutto), cheese, mushrooms or pancetta. You can also serve them as a side with sausages.


  • 1/2 pound of stale bread
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 6 ounces diced Speck
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cups milk
  • Fresh parsley
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch salt


  1. Put the pieces of stale bread in a large bowl and soften them with some milk.  When completely soft, wring out excess milk.
  2. Add the diced speck and then some salt, the butter, parsley and the onion.
  3. Season with some nutmeg and salt.
  4. Mix with two eggs and stir thoroughly, adding some flour if necessary.  Cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
  5. Forms 2″ balls from the mixture and boil them in salted hot water for 15 minutes or until they float to the top.
  6. Serve hot in a bowl with beef broth, tomato sauce or dry. Top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Asiago.

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