My wife has literally been begging me to make meatloaf for some time now. I am not sure what her fascination is with meatloaf, but does she ever love it. I honestly think that she likes the mashed potatoes that are served with it, but I could be wrong. After all, I do make some pretty good meatloaf (here and here). However, there is really nothing to making a meatloaf. If you were like me, growing up, meatloaf seemed to be a mixture of ground meat, and topped with ketchup. I have grown way out of that stage, and have matured to really get beyond the ketchup topping.
So recently, I called a couple of family members and asked them to come by for dinner. They jumped on the idea, of which applied a bit of pressure on me, as I had to now think of a menu. I had that ‘AHA’ moment and quickly thought of meatloaf, thanks to my wife. I also thought that many of the family members tend to love Italian food. How about an Italian meatloaf? It would be a win-win situation. I quickly threw together my Italian sauce and thought that I could top the meatloaf with that. Next, the other common ingredients. Let’s get started.
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 lb of ground sirloin
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1/2 lb of ground pork
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Italian sauce, approximately 2 cups
Begin by heating a skillet on medium heat, and adding the olive oil. Once heated, add the onion, garlic, and bell peppers, and cook, just until tender, roughly 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Next, get a large mixing bowl out, and mix all of your ground meats. Add in the eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and chopped herbs. Toss in the cooled onions, peppers, and garlic, Mix well.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If you have loaf pans for making breads, use them for making your meatloaf. Spray with a bit of cooking oil, or lube with a bit of oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Keep in mind that the fat content should prevent the meatloaf from sticking, but best to be on the safe side.
Add the meat mixture to a couple of loaf pans, and top with the Italian sauce. Cook in the oven for nearly one hour, uncovered. Remove after one hour and let rest. If there is a lot of excess fat, carefully remove the loaf to a serving dish, and discard the drippings.
Slice into desired thickness, and garnish with fresh basil and Italian parsley leafs.
This take on an Italian meatloaf really surprised the family members, however what didn’t surprise me is that they kept coming back for more! Enjoy.