Schwäbische Maultaschen

1h 30min
Stanislava Dimitrova
How it's made: 

These days I've been buried into “Die echte deutsche Küche”, a culinary book that I own for some years now, but usually ignore. The cold weather outside, however, is asking for a hearty German meal. Today I prepared Maultaschen – savory meat stuffed dough pockets from Swabia /Schwaben/.

Maultaschen are filled with minced meat and spinach and can be served in soup, blanched or fried. And since Maultaschen come from the fairy land of Schwarzwald, the stories of their origin is also quite legendary.

One story claims that the recipe was brought to Schwaben on the order of countess Margaret, who have tried it in Tirol. Another declares the Maultaschen a copy of the Italian ravioli. The most entertaining story, however, claims that Maultaschen were invented by the Cistercian monks of the Maulbronn Monastery. The story goes, that during the famine years of the Thirty Years’ War, the monks were given a large piece of meat. Unfortunately, during the lent period. After a shot consideration, the monks decided to chop the meat finely and mix it with plenty of herbs and spinach from the monastery garden, so that the greenish mixture was no more recognizable as meat. In order to provide even better camouflage, the mixture was subsequently hidden in dough which was divided into small portions.

The Maultaschen dough follows the classic pasta recipe. Sift flour, add salt, eggs and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix a dough. Once the dough pulls together, knead it on a lightly floured surface until smooth and non sticky. Wrap it in kitchen foil and let it rest for about half an hour.

To prepare the filling, mix the minced meat with finely chopped onions, spinach, parsley and egg. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, nutmeg and mint. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and stir well.

Divide the dough into two or three parts, so that it is easily handled. Roll each one of them into a thin layer. If you have a pasta machine - use it. Roll out the dough to a ravioli thickness and mark the size of the pockets. Traditionally, Maultaschen are made square, but I made them round using a cookie cutter with a diameter of 5 cm. Place filling in the middle of each circle, coat the edges with olive oil, and covered with the rest of the dough layer. Press firmly with fingers to free the excess air out and glue the two layers of dough tightly to each other. Cut out the pockets with the cookie cutter and place on a dusted with flour, cotton, kitchen towel. Cover them, so they do not dry out.

Bring water to boil in a medium-large boiling pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the dough pockets in the water and cook 10-12 minutes. Serve warm, topped with caramelized onions and parsley. Guten Appetit!

Shopping list: 
For the dough:
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1/2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
For the filling:
2 onions /one to serve/
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 handful of parsley
200 g spinach
150 g ground beef
1 egg
salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
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