Meatloaf can conjure up some pretty strong feelings. Some loathe it. Some love it.
I’m of the latter. I am 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 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 sauteed aromatic vegetables 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 meat loaf haters in the world.
I always cook my meatloaf in a large roasting pan so the grease can easily drain off, just the way my Mom did does. I never had a meatloaf turn out dry. The worst culprit is overcooking or using a cut of beef with no fat in it. I recommend an 85% ground beef or ground sirloin. You can also use ground turkey if you prefer.
A tender and delicious Italian-seasoned meatloaf with mozzarella and tomato sauce.
- Heat a skillet with enough oil to cover bottom of pan over medium-low heat, add onion and pepper, saute until tender. Add garlic, saute until fragrant; add tomato and Italian seasoning, saute 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl whisk together egg, 1/3 cup tomato sauce and Worcestershire. Add ground meat, bread crumbs, black pepper, Parmesan and sauteed vegetables. Combine with a fork; mix in 1 cup of mozzarella.
- In a large, greased roasting pan form the meat into a loaf. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake about 45 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. Let set five minutes before serving.
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