Hard to believe it’s actually raining in NorCal! Although it doesn’t look like much…just a day of winter-like weather. Which brings me to my mom’s Italian style meatloaf – a satisfying wintertime comfort food you can throw together. It’s made with ground beef and I modernized it slightly, in terms of moistness, adding some tomato sauce and painting the outside with a tomato-balsamic glaze. I’ll post mom’s exact recipe another time – it’s like her meatball recipe…wrapped in bacon. My recommended sides are buttered egg noodles and a cooked or fresh green, like mom always served.
After the ingredients are combined, the ground beef is added.
The mixture is gently stirred with a fork until combined.
Shaped into an oval.
Painted with a tomato sauce-balsamic glaze.
Then baked for about 1 hour.
Makes about 5 servings
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup fresh, finely grated Romano cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons dried Italian spice mix
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup tomato sauce, divided
1 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper; sides overlapping (so you can lift it from the pan). In a small bowl, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk until absorbed.
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion and bell pepper until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Cool the mixture and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, cheese, spice mix, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir in the breadcrumb mixture and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Add the meat and gently mix with a fork or your hands until blended (the mixture will be wet). Place the mixture in the center of the parchment-lined pan and shape into an oblong mound, about 1 3/4-inch thick. Combine the remaining tomato sauce and the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, paint the meatloaf with the sauce and bake for 1 hour. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter, slice and serve.