DeSocio in the Kitchen :: Italian-Style Meatloaf

This meatloaf is a classic comfort food with an Italian twist. Savory sausage combines with herbs, spices, and a tangy sauce for an easy dinner that'll make ANY Italian grandmother proud.

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef – I go for the 80/20
1 pound Italian pork sausage – if you like a little heat go for the spicy version
1 cup breadcrumbs – homemade or store bought
5 cloves garlic – minced on a microplane or chopped*
1 large onion, minced over a microplane or chopped*
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt – more or less to your taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper – more or less to your taste
1 cup Parmesan – grated
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar – I prefer a thick balsamic
1 jar marinara sauce (25oz jar)– your favorite jar or homemade

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

* If you use a microplane to mince up the onion and garlic you can skip the (first) sauté step. It saves on time and dishes. If you don’t want to use a microplane, or don’t have one you really need to pre-cook the garlic and onion. Otherwise they won’t cook through and you’ll end up eating hard, raw chunks of onion and garlic.

Optional step: Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Sauté 1 minute then add the onions and sauté until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl place the pork and ground beef (do not mix yet). Sprinkle the Parmesan and breadcrumbs over the meat.

Whisk together the eggs, basil, parsley salt and pepper and add to the bowl with the meat. Add in the (sauté) garlic and onions, the balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Thoroughly combine everything, try not to over mix, stop when everything is just combined. (Over mixing leads to tough and chewy end product)

Oil up your loaf pan and pack the meat mixture into the pan. If you do not have a loaf pan, form the meat mixture into a loaf-type shape on an oiled baking tray (make sure it’s a lipped tray so the juices don’t run all over your oven), or use a baking dish. Top evenly with the marinara sauce.

Bake for roughly 50 minutes or until your thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the center of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Remove from loaf pan (if using) slice and serve topped with a little more marinara, Parmesan and fresh basil if desired.


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