Meatloaf, a popular dish among the budget minded, blue-collar sect of the 60s and 70s, was traditionally considered a weekday meal and not something you would break out the fine china and serve as Sunday dinner. This however, is not your every day meatloaf. My dear friend, Food Editor at The Record, and fellow blogger (see spoonandshutter.com) Susan Leigh Sherrill shared this amazing Italian Meatloaf recipe with me a few years back, and I have deemed it worthy of Sunday dinner status. The combination of meats and layering of ingredients creates an interesting and delightful alternative to “traditional meatloaf” and the Italian seasonings pack a far more powerful punch than the standard ketchup, mustard and onion components.
Note: You can play around with a few of the ingredients and swap out the Mozzarella with Smoked Gouda or add fresh oregano instead of parsley. Any way you spice it or slice it, this is not your Every Day Meat Loaf!
ITALIAN MEAT LOAF (Makes 12 to 15 servings)
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
5 small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons Italian seasonings
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several grindings of black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth
2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
1 pound smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
1. Combine the ground beef, sausage, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the eggs, tomato juice and wine; mix thoroughly.
2. Lay out 1 large sheet of wax paper. Spread the meat loaf mixture into a 12-by-15-inch rectangle on the paper. Arrange the basil leaves over the surface. Scatter the sun-dried tomatoes over the basil and arrange three-fourths of the cheese on top.
3. Using the wax paper as an aid and starting from one short side, roll up the meat like a jelly roll. Peel back the paper as you roll. Press on the meat loaf lightly to seal and place in a jelly-roll pan or the bottom of a broiling pan that has been lined with foil.
4. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven 1 hour 10 minutes. Place the remaining slices of cheese on top and continue baking 10 minutes longer. The meat loaf can be served hot or cold. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.
From “The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook”