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Italian Meatball Tortes

 Italian Meatball Tortes
With classic Italian flavor, this hearty pie--filled with tomatoes, mozzarella and moist homemade meatballs--will be a hit with your family. “Preparation takes some time, but it’s well worth it,” says Sandy Blessing of Ocean Shores, Washington and a finalist in America's Best Loved Recipe Contest.
12 ServingsPrep: 1-1/4 hours + rising Bake: 30 min.


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup crushed saltines
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds ground beef
    With Johnsonville Italian Sausage.

    Save Now >

  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

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Italian Meatball Tortes (continued)

Ingredients (continued)

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar,
  • shortening, egg, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in
  • enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about
  • 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the
  • top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2
  • hours.
  • In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, oats, saltines, onion,
  • celery and seasonings. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape
  • into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook
  • meatballs in batches until no longer pink.
  • Meanwhile, place tomatoes and onion in a small saucepan. Bring to a
  • boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until
  • slightly thickened. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, herbs and salt.
  • Punch dough down. Divide into three portions. Roll two portions into
  • 11-in. circles; line the bottoms and press partially up the sides of
  • two greased 9-in. springform pans. Roll third portion into a
  • 12x10-in. rectangle; cut into twelve 10x1-in. strips.
  • Place meatballs in prepared crusts; top with tomato mixture and
  • mozzarella cheese. Make lattice crusts with strips of dough; trim
  • and seal edges. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cut into wedges. Yield: 2 tortes (6 servings each).
Nutritional Facts: 1 wedge equals 840 calories, 39 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 231 mg cholesterol, 1,678 mg sodium, 65 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 55 g protein.
Wine: This recipe pairs well with a full-bodied red wine.: Taste of Home Special Offer: Enjoy this recipe with Mike Ditka "The Coach" Cabernet Sauvignon CA 2011, a full-bodied, big bold cab with all of the dark fruit notes and structure that a great cab needs. Buy now and get 6 bottles, plus free shipping. Order Now