Bread dumplings with cheese – Canederli al formaggio
Canederli or Knödel in German are bread dumplings, made with dry old bread softened with eggs and milk, flavored with onions, cheese and nutmeg in this case. It’s a typical dish from the Alto Adige, the Northern part of the Trentino Alto Adige region where the cuisine is typically Tyrolean.
There are many variations of this dish served as a first course with broth or dry with melted butter as a side dish to Goulash, meats or vegetables. I personally like these cheese dumplings plain with melted butter and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. They can also be served with cooked vegetables like spinach, carrots, stir fry cabbage or a small green salad. For a glimpse into the Tyrolean cuisine read my trip to Bolzano.
7 oz. dry white bread such as ciabatta cut in small cubes, about 8 cups
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole cow milk
3 oz. mild Emmentaler (Swiss cheese)
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
4-5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1. Cut the bread in small cubes and put them in a big bowl. Mix the eggs with milk and pour the batter over he bread. Combine well and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to an hour.
2. In the meantime chop the onions thinly and saute them in 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter until soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Cut the Emmentaler in small cubes and add them to the bread mixture together with onions and flour. Add nutmeg and salt to taste. Mix the bread mixture with wet hands and shape it into balls. It makes 10 dumplings.
4. Boil them in salted water at medium heat for 15 minutes. To see if they’re thoroughly cooked open one and taste it.
5. Melt 2-3 Tbsp. unsalted butter and top each knödel with the butter. You can also sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese.