Swabian Maultaschen (Southern German Ravioli)
Why I Love This Recipe
Maultaschen are a traditional German dish that originated in the region of Swabia, in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
This dish consists of a casing of pasta dough, which encloses a filling traditionally consisting of minced meat and/or smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs and onions, and is often flavored with various herbs and spices. The dish resembles its southern cousin, the Italian ravioli.
Ingredients You'll Need
For the dough:
1¼ cup all purpose flour (300 grams)
¼ cup water (50 ml)
1 tsp. oil
Pinch of salt, to taste
1/8th tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
For the filling:
1 medium onion
1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. oil
1 day-old bread roll, or four slices of dry bread
8 ounces fresh or frozen leaf spinach (250 grams)
8 ounces ground meat, beef, pork, and veal mix (250 grams)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dough:
Place flour into a large mixing bowl, making a well in the center. Into this well, break eggs, one at a time, and add water, oil and spices. Knead mass together until a smooth dough forms. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill while preparing filling.
For the filling:
Soak roll or pieces of bread in milk while completing the next two steps.
Peel the onion, and chop into fine dice, and combine with finely chopped fresh parsley. Heat the oil in a frying pan,and saute onion and parsley mixture until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
Bring a small amount of water just to a boil, and add spinach leaves briefly, just until they wilt. Remove from water immediately and rinse under cold water. Press leaves dry with paper towels, then chop finely. Add to onion mixture.
Remove bread from the milk bath, and gently press to remove excess liquid - a fine mesh screen or wire colander works well for this. Crumble bread. Add to a bowl and combine with the mixed ground meat. Add in egg and spices, and then the onion/parsley/spinach mixture, and use hands to mix, forming a mass.
Set aside in a cool place while preparing the dough sheets.
Preparing dough sheets:
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil while preparing the maultaschen.
Unwrap chilled dough and place onto a floured work surface. Roll dough into a thin rectangle (roughly ¼" or 0.5 cm thick), and using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, cut into smaller rectangles, roughly 2½" wide by 3½" long (6 cm by 8 cm). Spread filling mixture on one rectangle, leaving a small border at the edges, then wet edges and place a second rectangle on top. Press edges together to create a sealed pasta pocket. Set each pasta pocket aside on a baking sheet, until all the dough and/or filling is used.
Add maultaschen to the pot of boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon when done, allowing the pieces to drain well.
You can now serve these delicious dumplings in soup - beef broth is traditional - or you can slice them across the shorter side, and fry the slices in a pan with lots of butter, some caramelized onions and a couple of beaten eggs to make an omelet-style dish.