- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3/4 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
- 2 large 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
- 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 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).
Reviews for Italian Meatball Tortes
"Very time consuming but turned out great. Nice rainy day project :) My only recommendation would be to add a bit more sauce/tomatoes."
"This recipe was delicious. I brought it to work for a potluck lunch. Reprinted many copies of the recipe!"
"The whole concept is great, we loved it. Next time I would use my own italian meatball recipe. The celery and onion were still a bit crunchy in this meatball."
"The thing that sells this dish to me is the crust, I've used to on several adapted recipes and really adds something."
"My thoughts on this recipe:1. Delicious, but time consuming. I will make this again, but probably only once or twice a year and on a day I can devote to cooking. I may try to make it using pre-made refrigerate dough next time to save time.2. Next time I make this I will double the sauce; maybe it's just my taste palate but it seemed the meatballs overpowered the sauce at times.3. The meatballs were FANTASTIC. I will definitely use the meatball portion of this recipe for spaghetti, meatball subs, etc.4. And to the negative reviewers, sure this may not be the healthiest recipe in the world, but it's fine in moderation. Don't you ever have pizza, dessert, etc? Balance it will steamed veggies and a salad. Plus, it is VERY filling, so one wedge will be enough for most people and keep you full for several hours."
"This was delicous! It did take alot of work so I won't make this often, but it sure was good!This would make a nice dish to serve for company because it really did look & taste impressive!"
"This recipe was fantastic (although very time consuming)! The home-made crust really adds an amazing touch, and the meatball/sauce combo was great. I used nearly twice as much sauce as it called for and the amount was perfect. Also, next time I'll probably bake the meatballs since frying them was a mess.For those of you concerned with the healthiness of this recipe: Using an online nutrition facts calculator, I found that if you use fat-free milk (both regular and evaporated), ground turkey instead of ground beef, and part-skim cheese, there are 503 calories, 18 g of fat (6 g saturated), 144 mg cholesterol, and 1136 mg sodium per serving.Sounds (and tastes) like a winner to me!"
"I can't wait to try this recipe! It sounds fantastic!"
"I loved the suggestion to serve small slices of this with a side salad and steamed vegetable medley. Sounds delicious. You could also make it healthier by adding some whole wheat flour to the dough and wheat germ to the meatball mixture. But it's a classic just as is.zaplinger"
"What a downer you are - Maybe you should just stick to healthy Living Magazine and comment on their food contests. Get a life and quit trying to run eveyone else's. There are real families out there with real friends and real food. This is a contest about home cooked meals, yeah some of us still make everything the old fashioned way to feed our families. Lighten up, knuckle head!"