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Italian Meatball Tortes Recipe

Italian Meatball Tortes Recipe

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.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1-1/4 hours + rising Bake: 30 min. YIELD:12 servings

Ingredients

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

Directions

  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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.
  • 7. 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 Pairings

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.