BLUE WINDOW | Food Travels in the Alps | Canederli al Tastasal (bread, bacon, cheese and pork dumplings)

Canederli al Tastasal ITALY bread, bacon, cheese and pork dumplings


These dumplings are indigenous to Trentino Alto Adige and South Tyrol where the food cultures of southern Austria and northern Italy mingle. Also known as Tirolese knödelen, they can also be found south of the Verona plain, across the breadth of Veneto and up into Friuli in the north-east of Italy, where the food cultures of Austria and Italy continue to develop into a unique blend of flavours and methods. By using the tastasal mixture (see page 000) the Veronese have subtly altered the recipe to reflect their own food culture. In the South Tyrol the bacon known as speck and local coiled sausages provide the meat content. Essentially these are dumplings even if the final taste is like that of a meatball. The dumplings can be between 5 cm and 8 cm in diametre. The coiled sausages are very salty whereas the tastasal is heavily spiced with coarse black pepper. 

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1 litre meat broth (optional)
  • 400 ml whole milk
  • 250 g stale bread
  • 150 g tastasal (ground pork meat seasoned with 15 g black pepper and 5 g salt)
  • 125 g bacon / pancetta / speck, cubed
  • 100 g Trentino grana, grated (optional)
  • 100 g onion
  • 2 small eggs
  • 80 g butter
  • 30 g flour
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • Nutmeg, very large pinch
  • Bowl of cold water

Soak the bread in the milk for 30 minutes, squeeze out any excess liquid. Brown the onion and bacon in half of the butter over a medium heat for 15 minutes, leave to cool. Using wet hands combine the bread-milk mixture with the onion-bacon mixture and the seasoned pork, work in the eggs, nutmeg and parsley and finally the flour. Dip hands into cold water bowl, take a piece of the mixture about 50 g and shape into a 5 cm diameter ball. Repeat procedure until the mixture has been used up. Boil water in a large pot, salt and cook balls over a medium heat, about 15 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon. Heat remaining butter and oil in a large pan, brown the balls. Serve in strong hot broth or in the cooking water or dress with a butter and sage sauce. Grated cheese can be added to the various options. Dress with parsley.