Italian Meatball Torte

italian meatball torte
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.”—Sandy Blessing, Ocean Shores, Washington
Recipe By: Taste of Home
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • Serves2 Tortes, 6 servings each

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 Domino® or C&H® Granulated Pure Cane Sugar
    • 1/4 cup shortening
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Filling:
    • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Meatballs:
    • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
    • 2 eggs 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

Instructions

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 12-in. x 10-in. rectangle; cut into twelve 10-in. x 1-in. strips.

Place meatballs in prepared crusts; top with tomato mixture and mozzarella cheese. Make a lattice crust with strips of dough; trim and seal edges. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges. Yield: 2 tortes (6 servings each).

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