Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Italian Style Meatloaf

This meatloaf is nothing more than one giant meatball. The ingredients are the same, the only difference is the shape and cooking method. So instead of the labor intensive Sunday Dinner style meatballs you crave on busy Tuesday night, why not do half the work and still enjoy the same taste you so desire?

Tips:
  • You can add green peppers, diced onions or garlic to this dish as well. Add 5 minutes of cook time for about every 1/2 cup of fresh veggies used.
  • Seasoning is all a matter of taste, so use spices and seasonings at your discretion.
  • Use the same tomato sauce you would use to make spaghetti or lasagna. Homemade or from a jar, it's up to you.
  • The size of the egg, the fat content of the ground beef, the humidity in your kitchen can all have an effect on how exactly how much of the breadcrumbs you will need. When adding breadcrumbs, you want the mixture to be able to hold a loaf shape easily.  Though, if you add too much the meatloaf will be dry. Start with a 1/3 cup (as stated in the recipe below) and if the mixture is too soft or mushy, add a couple of tablespoons at a time until the desired consitency is achieved.
  • If desired add 1/4 cup of shredded Mozzarella Cheese to the top of the meatloaf during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
  • I like to serve this with Buttered Parmesan noodles and garlic bread.


Italian Style Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs, more if needed
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
Salt and pepper as desired
3/4 cup Tomato (Pasta) Sauce, divided

In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, breadcumbs, egg, Parmesan and seasonings. Using your hands, mix thoroughly. Add more breadcrumbs if mixture seems too "soft". Form into a loaf shape and place in a lightly greased, baking dish. Coat with 1/2 cup pasta sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes then baste with remaining sauce. Continue baking for another 10 minutes.  Serve warm with pasta if desired.

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