I've wanted to make Maultaschen for a very long time. They are a southern German type ravioli that are often served in broth or baked in a casserole with onions, cream and cheese. I came across a lot of recipes for these. Some used spinach, leeks or chives, some were meatless, others used beef instead of pork. This recipe came together after several tries and reminds me of the spinach and bratwurst ones I tried in Munich many years ago.
My method of forming Maultaschen is different. In Germany they often spread a thin layer of filling over a portion of the dough then fold that up. Using a the handle of a wooden spoon pressed down hard, the individual Maultaschen are formed and then cut apart. There are photos illustrating this method on a German blog here. I tried that twice and failed both times. My Maultaschen opened up during the cooking, so I just left space between the filling and cut them apart after I enclosed and sealed them with a bit of water.
This recipe makes about 30 Maultaschen and they freeze really well if you don't plan on serving them all at once.
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 large eggs
water, as needed
Combine the flour and eggs in a large bowl or a food processor. Add enough water until you have a soft tacky noodle dough. If you are using the food processor, then run the motor until the dough forms into a ball. If you are doing this by hand, then knead it a few times once it all comes together.
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
5 oz package fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
3/4 lb good quality bratwurst (not precooked), casings removed
1 large egg
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the butter over medium heat and when it's ready, add the garlic. Saute for a minute or so then add the onion. Cook until the onions are translucent and lightly browned. Cool.
In a large bowl combine the fresh breadcrumbs, spinach, parsley, bratwurst, egg, nutmeg, salt, pepper and the cooled onion mixture. Fry up a tablespoon of the filling mixture to check for seasoning and make any adjustments if needed.
To form the Maultaschen, cut off about 1/6 of a piece of noodle dough and roll that out into a thin rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Place heaping tablespoons of filling about 3/4 inch apart in the middle of the dough strip. (I was able to get about 5 Maultaschen with each section I rolled out.) Lightly moisten the edges around the filling with water and then fold the top edge down carefully over the filling followed by folding the bottom edge over the filling (see photos). Cut them apart with a pizza or pastry cutter. If you plan on freezing some of these, then place the formed Maultaschen onto a silicone mat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet, not touching in a single layer. Freeze for several hours before bagging them (for the freezer).
Continue making the Maultashen until all of the dough and filling have been used up.
about 1 1/2 cups beef broth for each serving of 3-4 Maultaschen
Heat the beef broth until it simmers lightly. Add the Maultaschen and cook for about 10 minutes (add about 2 minutes if they are frozen).
To serve, divide among bowls and then garnish with chopped parsley.