Cooking with Rod
Ms Italian Meatloaf
Melinda Cohenour – 2004
Once again, my sweet bride has reminded me of something that I have always loved. This is her recipe for Italian Meatloaf and this one I guarantee you will enjoy and want again and again.
4 lbs. ground beef, prefer lean
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, de-string and slice in thin slices
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in thin “dimes”
1 cup 3 minute oats (to help absorb and hold in juices)
1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crumbed
1 small can tomato paste or 1 cup catsup
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional if you like spicy)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning or make your own:
1 tsp marjoram
1 Tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Favorite Italian Spaghetti Sauce OR make your own:
1 cup Catsup or 1 sm. can Italian Style tomato sauce
¼ tsp marjoram
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp rosemary
¼ tsp thyme
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (separate from sauce)
1 Tbsp flat leaf Italian parsley (reserve until loaf is ready to serve)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (reserve until loaf is ready to serve)
Put all ingredients for meatloaf mixture into large mixing bowl. Use hands to mix together.
Grease 9”x13”x2” casserole dish. Form meatloaf mixture into dish, pulling back from edges to form a “gutter” for grease to collect and be removed during cooking.
Bake at 350º - 375º for about 45 minutes to an hour (you want the loaf to be well browned, cooked through, but still moist and delicious. Cooking times will vary with the individual oven. Check it from time to time.)
After meatloaf has begun to brown, stir together topping sauce and drizzle over top of loaf, using zigzag movements. Continue to cook until meatloaf is well browned and completely cooked throughout. Just before serving, top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, return to oven just long enough for cheeses to melt and brown lightly. Remove from oven, Lift loaf from pan to rack over a cookie sheet and allow fat to drain. Just before serving, top with fresh basil and parsley leaves and dust with parmesan. If you like, serve extra sauce to be added by your guests as desired.
Serve with tossed salad, green beans (or other green vegetable), mashed potatoes and hot bread.
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