Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Bread gnocchi with spinach
( Canederli agli spinaci )

Authentic Italian recipe

difficulty: medium

time: preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 30 minutes

calories: 577 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) stale white bread
  • 1 kg (2 1/4 lb) spinach
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 70 g onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 g (2 oz) white flour
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 glasses of milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
medium difficulty
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 30 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 577 (kcal) 29 % - 2412 (kJ)
Protein: 22.1 (g) 45 % GDA
Total fat: 15.5 (g) 23 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 92.8 (g) 35 % GDA
Sugars: 10.3 (g) 12 % GDA

Download free PDF version (239 download).

Have you got any bread left? Let's make Italian canederli, bread dumplings with spinach dressed with melted butter and Parmesan cheese or a simple tomato sauce.
Cut bread into little pieces and soak in the warm milk.
Meanwhile clean, wash and boil spinach for about 5 minutes. Drain very well in order to remove all the water and whisk.
Simmer spinach in a pan with a knob of butter, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Let them cool and pour into a large bowl. Add the bread squeezed of its soaking milk, eggs, one at a time, stirring accurately, and then a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper (if liked), plain dried breadcrumbs and, at the end, flour through a strainer. Combine everything together well in your fingers and form mixture into 2 - 2 ½ inch balls
Boil them in abundant salted water for about 15 minutes; drain very well and dress with the remaining butter, melted and grated Parmesan.


  • - We flavor spinach in a pan with 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 4 tablespoons dried or fresh chives; so we avoid butter, onion and garlic. We never fry lightly, we add all the ingredients in the same time.
  • - We dress canederli with a simple sauce made with canned tomatoes, aromatic herbs (chives, parsley, marjoram and basil), extra virgin olive oil and a little white wine; we cook it for few minutes over a medium heat. So we avoid butter in this step too. We sprinkle with abundant grated Parmesan. The dish is very tasty!
  • - If you want, you can boil them in abundant meat stock and eat them with this stock.

What's the right wine for " Bread gnocchi with spinach "?

Our suggestion is: Alto Adige Merlot Rosato (wine from Trentino Alto Adige - Italy).

A little history

This dish, very simple, belongs to many centuries ago. In fact canederli are painted in some famous and ancient pictures. It's a traditional recipe from Tirolo; the German name is knödel.
It was realized at the beginning with poor ingredients and then other ones were added.
There are two kinds: salted (with speck, mushrooms, cheese, spinach…) and with sugar. In the first case they can be served, dressed in different ways, as first courses or as side dishes that accompany meat. In the last case they can be served, filled with fruit, as side dishes too (they accompany meat dishes) or dessert.
If you want more details, email us!