The not-waste-leftover of the meals is an important concept in Italian cuisine. Italian rural tradition has taught us that leftovers can be used to prepare many other tasty recipes, instead of throwing them away!

The main ingredients of this type of anti-waste cuisine are dry bread, leftover meat, leftover vegetables and some spices. Every region has its own recipes. To give some examples, in Trentino the most used leftover is dry-bread while in the south of Italy pasta is never wasted and it is commonly used to prepare tasty omelettes. In Rome and Milan leftover boiled meat is transformed into meatballs.

Here there are some recipes of the Italian tradition that include leftovers as main ingredients.

Canederli or Semmelknödel

Semmelknödel originally from Trentino and Alto Adige (known as Canederli) are tasty balls made of a dough of stale bread (very common cooking leftover), eggs, flour, milk, herbs and spices. They can be prepared in various ways by adding other ingredients like cheese, meat, cold cuts or vegetables.


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Un post condiviso da Unicoop Tirreno (@unicooptirreno)

Pasta Omelette

Pasta Omelette is a good solution to consume, beyond pasta, leftover salami, ham and cheeses. Smoked Provola cheese is one of the characteristic features of the Campanian pasta Omelette. For those who don’t want to cook it on a pan with hot oil, it is possible to bake it in a buttered pan for 20/25 min at 180° in the oven.


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Un post condiviso da Luciano Daniele (@il_boss_della_trippa_)

Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is the most famous leftover recipe of the Italian culinary tradition. It is made of stale bread, strictly Tuscan bread (it is without salt) with sifted salted tomatoes. According to the Tuscan tradition, all the ingredients must be cooked together until we get a mush, by frequently stirring. When partially cooked, add some basil leaves and some hot broth.


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Mondeghili- Milanese meatballs

Mondeghili are meatballs typical of the Milanese cuisine. The main ingredient of this dish is beef leftover, since it is very common on the Milanese tables. This recipe was born, indeed, not to waste the abundant leftover of the festive dinners and lunches. Mondeghili are made of minced pot roast and boiled meat with mortadella, sausages, stale bread dipped in milk added to eggs and spices breaded. They are finally pressed in order to shape them as meatballs or hamburger. Everything is fried in the butter, as it is stated by the Lombard tradition.


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Photo by ? Mabel Amber, Messianic Mystery Guest ? from Pixabay