Monday, September 17, 2012

Polpettone ( Italian American Meatloaf )

         Today  there wouldn't be time to make a run to the grocery store but, since I couldn't cancel dinner,  I had to figure out what I could make with ingredients I had on hand.  I found a package of beef, pork, and veal combination in the freezer and thought of meatloaf .  I began looking through a few Italian cookbooks for a recipe and came upon one in Lidia's Italy in America by Lidia BastianichIt looked like I had all the ingredients. . .so. . . meatloaf it would be.  I made some cheesy, garlic, spinach mashed potatoes and a salad to go alongside.  Got a thumbs up from everyone.  Success !!

Italian American Meatloaf              serves 4-6

1 cup country bread, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1 med. carrot, in chunks
1 med. stalk celery, in chunks
1/2 med. onion, in chunks
1 1/2 # beef, pork, veal mix  ( original recipe used only beef and pork )
1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped.
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese  ( original recipe used Parmigiano-Reggiano )
1/2 cup marinara sauce or pureed canned tomatoes, plus more for pouring over the top
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tblsp. extra-virgin olive oil

       Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Soak the bread cubes in the milk until soft.  Combine the carrots, celery, and onion chunks in a food processor, and pulse to make a fine-textured paste.  This is called a pestata
        In a bowl, using your hands, gently mix the meat, pestata, bread that has been squeezed out, scallions, cheese, marinara, parsley, salt, and oregano.  Form into a loaf and place in a Pyrex or ceramic baking dish that has been brushed with the olive oil.  Bake until browned and cooked through ( 165 on an instant read thermometer ).  This should take about 40-45 minutes, depending on your oven.  Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.  Pour more marinara over the top and serve.


  1. You've put me in the mood for meatloaf, I think I'm going to have to make this over the weekend. How do you make the "cheesy, garlic, spinach potatoes? They sound really good too.

    1. Great. Let me know how you like it. Well, I don't necessarily make the potatoes exactly the same way every time, but basically you add to mashed potatoes some chopped scallions,sour cream, fresh chopped spinach or frozen(thawed and well drained)and lots of cheese (cheddar or another full flavored cheese that you like)You can cook some peeled whole cloves of garlic with the potatoes for the garlic flavor or roast a whole head in the oven; then squeeze it into the mashed potatoes and mix. Sorry no exact measurements, but I just taste as I go until I'm happy with it.

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