From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...There are times when my sense of the absurd overcomes common sense. Before I go any further, you need a little background. I've been working with a cookbook that was written for folks who know their way around the kitchen. There are no detailed instructions to take you from the larder to the table in 10 easy steps. There's a list of ingredients and a few charming, but terse instructions that can be summarized as "mix and bake." I've long waged a personal war with recipes that call for a chopped onion or 2 cloves of garlic. My brain is wired to handle balanced equations and specific instructions. What size onion are you talking about? If onions upset me, you can imagine how well I handle an instruction directing me to shape a meatloaf like a football. You'll be even more surprised to learn I tried. Fortunately, I realized it was impossible to fry anything shaped like an American football before reaching DEFCON 1. Undeterred, but taking terrible hazing from Bob, I decided they must have meant a soccer ball. I tried that, too, but my creation collapsed under it's own weight and became a discus. I fell back on my old standby, the salami-shaped cylinder, and fortunately that worked, allowing me to roll the loaf as it browned. I choose this recipe because it's geared to a smaller table and I was intrigued by the fact that it was cooked on top of the stove. It also made a ton of sauce that would be perfect for pasta. Despite the false starts, silliness and instructions lost in translation this is a lovely meatloaf that is perfect for smaller families. Here is the recipe for polpettone - Tuscan meatloaf.
Polpetonne - Tuscan Stovetop Meatloaf...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Judy Witts Francini
1 pound lean ground beef
2 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 slices crustless bread, soaked in milk, then squeezed to remove liquid
Flour for dredging
1/2 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely dice
1 stalk celery, scrubbed and finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
1 (28-oz.) can plum tomatoes packed in juice
1) Mix beef with prosciutto, egg, cheese and bread, Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I used a teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and a big pinch of nutmeg.Shape meatloaf like a football, roll in flour or breadcrumbs.
2) Saute onion, carrot and celery in olive oil. I used 2 tablespoons. After 10 minutes, add polpettone, turning to brown on all sides. Add tomatoes and up to a cup of their juice. Cover and let cook slowly, turning frequently to avoid sticking. I cooked mine for 30 minutes. Very carefully remove from pan to a cutting board. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Slice and serve with lemon wedges. Yield: 4 servings.
Cook's Note: The parsley specified in the ingredient list was never mentioned in the instructions. I added it to the tomato sauce. Next time I'll include it in the meat mixture.
Here are some other great meatloaf recipes from other blogs:
Moroccan Meatloaf from Simply Recipes
Kalyn's Best Meatloaf from Kalyn's Kitchen
Turkey Meatloaf with Fig Gravy from The Perfect Pantry