An Absolutely Delicious Italian Meatloaf

Meatloaf can conjure up some pretty strong feelings. Loathe or love? I’m of the latter.

I’m constantly dreaming up new versions, sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t.

Sometimes when they don’t work I make them over and over again trying to get it right. And sometimes they still don’t work.

Thankfully, this one works! Moist, juicy and so tender it melts in your mouth. It may just be my new favorite of all-time.

Packed full of flavor beginning with sautéed aromatic veggies including onion, garlic, fire roasted red peppers and fresh tomatoes followed by tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Italian seasoned bread crumbs. All of these flavors are tied together with an Italian seasoning blend that includes basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme.

I see many meatloaf recipes calling for the meat to be cooked in loaf pans. I can’t help but wonder who was the genius to come up with this idea?

First issue: where does all the grease go? Back in the meatloaf to make it soggy and greasy?! No thank-you.

Second issue: it doesn’t allow the outside to get browned. The absolute best part of eating meatloaf for me is that outer, browned crusty part. I lust after the end pieces!

No wonder there are so many meatloaf haters in the world.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground mild Italian sausage
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. chopped bell pepper (I used orange, it was all I had in the freezer)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
2 slices white bread, crumbled
1 T. milk
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, reserve 3/4 C. for topping
1/4 C. parmesan cheese
1 C. marinara sauce, plus 1/2 -3/4 C. more for topping

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How to make it

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over med. high heat and sauté the onion and bell pepper for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat. In a large bowl, add the meats, onion and peppers along with all remaining ingredients reserving 3/4 C. mozzarella cheese for topping. Now, dive in there with the best tools God gave you, your hands and combine everything really good. Once it has all come together, place and mold the mixture in a baking dish of your choice. I used my oval Portuguese stoneware for ours. Spoon 1/2 to 3/4 C. of the marinara sauce on top and spread around. Place in a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle a little dry basil over the top. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Make sure the meat is not pink before serving, baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your loaf. Mine was about 2″ thick.

Source : allrecipes.Com

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