There is no end to the variety of dumplings Italians make for soup. In the northeast, Alto Adige and Trentino, there are canederli made with liver, ham, spleen, or even dried fruit. In Tuscany, there are ricotta and spinach gnocchi There are the spaetzlelike passatelli from Romagna made of cheese and bread crumbs. There are Bologna’s long, skinny chenelle of rice and chicken livers. The tiny dumplings in this recipe are native to Mantua. They are made of bread crumbs, cheese, and egg flavored with pancetta, nutmeg, and a muffled hint of garlic. They are lightning fast to do, especially if you use the food processor. Do take what little time is necessary to shape them into very small balls. They are light but savory, and small bitefuls convey no more or less than the most desirable load of flavor to the palate.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.