German Recipe Tuesday: Maultaschen (Filled Pasta Pockets)
I know, I know. I am way behind with my German Recipe Monday project. So please ignore the fact that it’s actually Tuesday. (By the way, if you have suggestions for foods you’d like to see here feel free to contact me.)
I often find myself making vegan versions of food I never ate before. Their non-vegan versions, I mean. Most of these recipes are very popular in various regions of Germany. Veganizing this kind of food is dangerous. Because the “traditionalists” will be after you very soon. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter because a vegan version of these isn’t very traditional anyway.
Maultaschen have nothing to do with this guy. Maul means mouth (coll.) and Tasche means bag (you can read more about the history if this food here) and these dumplings are the Swabian version of ravioli. They are usually filled with meat and spinach and I would never ever have thought of veganizing them for two reasons: Firstly, they seemed very time consuming. And secondly, I have never tasted the original, meat based version of these pockets and I only once had a vegetarian version. So not exactly an expert here…but I got several requests for them. So here you are. (And they are not time consuming!)
Note: These Maultaschen are tempeh-filled. If you find tempeh to be bitter, cut it into slices and steam it for 10 minutes.
Maultaschen (3 large servings)
For the dough:
240 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
140 ml (1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients and knead dough for five minutes. It should be firm, elastic and not sticky. Add more flour if necessary. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
For the filling:
1/2 stale small bread roll
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
200 g (7 oz) tempeh, crumbled
60 g (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds, finely ground (or almonds)
100 g (3.5 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried majoram
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
Soak the bread roll in water until softened. Heat oil in a pan. Fry onion until translucent. Add tempeh and sunflower seeds. Stir well and fry for 5 minutes. Add spinach, soy sauce, and majoram. Fry for another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
Take the bread roll and carefully press out as much water as possible. Add roll, tempeh mixture, and parsley to a food processor. Prcess until smooth. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
Divide the dough into two equally sized pieces. Roll both into rectangles (aprox. 38 x 22 cm / 15 x 8.7 inches). Make sure your working surface and your rolling pin are lighly floured. The dough should not stick.
There are several methods for forming these. I chose the easiest and laziest one (in my opinion):
Spread the filling on one dough piece. Leave a 1 cm (1/2 inch) margin on each side. Place the second dough piece on top and gently press on the filling. Now take a dough scraper or something similar. (You don’t want a sharp knife. You need something with a thin but dull edge.) Use the dough scraper to score the dough lenght-wise into three strips. Now cut each strip into 7 rectangular Maultaschen. Make sure you pinch and cut them at the same time. All edges should be sealed and the filling should not be visible. Let them rest on the floured surface while you bring two litres of water to a boil in a large pot. Depending on the size of your pot, simmer 5-7 dumplings at the same time. Drain them.
To serve: fry the dumplings golden brown on both sides. Serve with fried mushrooms and some greens on the side.