There’s something about the frugal act of stretching ingredients that seems to just scream “Italian food.” For generations, Italian homecooks have made the most of meager meals by utilizing pantry staples to make a little bit of food go a long way. And one of the dinnertime belly fillers that’s most famous for its ability to feed a lot of people on a slim budget is the mighty meatloaf. But we’re not going to show you how to make the ketchup-covered meatloaf of some people’s youth (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Instead, we’ve developed a meatloaf that’s permeated with the flavors of Italian cuisine.
Using Paesana’s Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce, our meatloaf is aromatic and garden fresh, with a pungent punch of garlic and the unmistakable aroma of basil, finished with a sharp spike of flavor from Parmigiano-Reggiano. For this recipe, we’re using ground beef with enough fat to lend some flavor, but not too much where it becomes a greasy mess. There’s also a collection of ingredients that you might already have on hand. Pair this main course with a side of mashed potatoes and peas, your favorite pasta, or make it into an Italian meatloaf hero topped with melted mozzarella on toasty semolina.
Yield: 6 Servings
Total: 1hr 25 mins
Active: 20 mins
- 2 pounds 85/15 ground beef (use “ribbon” style for best texture)
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup milk or heavy cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 1 jar Paesana Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, 24. Oz.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
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*You’re basically making a flavor slurry that you’ll combine later with the ground beef. Mix well with a wooden spoon. If you notice it’s too dry, add more milk and/or pasta sauce. Conversely, if it’s too moist, add more breadcrumbs.