Canederli with Kale and Bacon

A Northern Italian specialty from the German speaking region of Italy (Alto Adige)


300 gr. day old (even 3,4 days) bread cubed
1/2 cup fresh milk (or vegetable milk)
1 or 2 medium scallions chopped
1/2 cup finely cubed lean bacon
a small bunch of kale (or spinach, black Tuscan cabbage) leaves chopped (stems removed)
chopped parsley (optional)
2 tbsp. olive oil plus 1 tbsp. butter
2 large eggs beaten
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
finely chopped chives to taste
2 tbsp. flour
a pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix the milk into bread cubes to moisten. Set aside to soak for 1/2 hr.

2. In the meantime saute’ the onion and bacon in the oil and butter.

3. Add the chopped kale and continue sauteeing until kale is tender. (add a little water if necessary). Set aside.
4. Mix the parmesan and seasonings into the beaten eggs and combine with the bread mixture.
5. Work in the kale mixture and combine well (using hands if necessary).
6. Mix in the flour to form a firm “dough” enough to hold together and form billiard sized dumplings. Chill 1 hr.
7. Take large tablespoons of mixture and roll into billiard sized balls.

8. Boil the canederli in a pot of boiling salted water for 12-15 minutes until they float and are done.
9. Drain with a slotted spoon and serve with melted butter/oil where garlic and a few sage leaves have been lightly fried. Delicious served with salad greens and redcurrants (ribes in Italian).

TIP: Canederli freeze well. In this case boil them for a good 15 minutes. They are also delicious boiled and served in their broth.