Certainly if anyone were to insist that 'Maultaschen' were the most delicious of all Swabian specialties, I [Horst Scharfenberg] would hardly be prepared to deny it. In fact, as indicated earlier, I suspect that 'Maultaschen' would have very good chances in a four-way international competition with ravioli, won tons, and pirogi for the championship of the Roughly Rectangular Pasta with Meat (plus Miscellaneous) Filling division.
It has been said that 'Maultaschen' were originally invented in order to allow Swabians to keep eating meat during Lent by concealing it beneath the pasta shell and amidst the spinach filling from the eye of the parish priest (if not the omniscient Deity Himself).
The following recipe is typical but far from definitive, especially where the ingredients for the filling are concerned. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand or whatever your fancy (or your conscience) dictates.
Dough: Combine the flour, eggs, and salt in a bowl and mix to make a pasta dough. Then add a little water and knead until it has a firm but elastic consistency. To make the filling, melt the butter in a skillet and fry the bacon with the onions until both are quite translucent.
Combine the bacon mixture with the sausage meat. Moisten the hard roll in water, press dry, and put through the meat grinder (better than the food mill or food processor), along with the bacon mixture, cooked spinach, ground meat or smoked farm sausage, leftover roast, etc. Then fold in the eggs, parsley, and seasonings; mix together. The filling should be very spicy indeed.
On a board that has been sprinkled with flour, roll out the dough into rectangular sheets (about twice as wide as you want your 'Maultaschen' to be). Take a tablespoon measure and put little dabs of filling at equally spaced 3-inch intervals all down the middle of one side of the sheet of dough.
Mix together the egg and canned milk and apply it to the spaces in between, the outer edge and the fold line. Fold the plain half of the sheet of dough over to cover the filling, press down firmly on the spaces around the little packets of filling, and use a pastry wheel or knife to separate the packets into 3-inch square or diamond-shaped 'Maultaschen'.
The process is similar to making ravioli.
Cook thoroughly in beef stock or boiling salted water for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the size of the 'Maultaschen'. They'll bob up to the surface when they're done; remove them with a slotted spoon and allow to drain.
Serving suggestions: Cut an onion or two into half-rings, fry in butter until golden brown amd empty the contents of the skillet over the 'Maultaschen' on the serving dish. Serve with slippery potato salad or a mixed green salad.
Swabian Won Ton Soup: Serve a couple of 'Maultaschen' in a bowl of hearty beef broths; garnish liberally with finely chopped onion.
Swabian Fried Won Tons: Allow the boiled 'Maultaschen' to cool, then cut into strips. Saute in a skillet until crisp on the outside. Serve with potato salad.
Maultaschen Croque Monsieur: Arrange several portions in an ovenproof casserole, cover with boiled ham and a couple of slices lof cheese, and heat in the oven until the cheese reaches the desired consistency. Serve with green salad.
From: THE CUISINES OF GERMANY by Horst Scharfenberg, Simon & Schuster/Poseidon Press, New York. 1989 Posted by: Karin Brewer, Cooking Echo, 7/92