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 Bastianich. It 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.