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Italian Meatloaf

I can’t draw to save my life. I can’t paint a pretty picture. I can’t write a sonnet, sing an aria, or sculpt.

But I can make meatloaf. And this Italian version will make you feel like you can do all of the above, times a hundred. I made this meatloaf on a Food Network episode with my boy Bryce last year, and we both loved every bite.

Meatloaf is my love language.

 
 
Italian MeatloafTear some crusty Italian bread into chunks and place it in a bowl. Pour the milk over the bread, toss it around, and allow it to soak in for several minutes.

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafPlace the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, eggs, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into a large bowl…

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafAnd smush/knead it around with your hands until everything is completely mixed.

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafMeanwhile, make the sauce that goes on top of the meatloaf: In a separate bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, and Worcestershire…

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafAnd stir it together.

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafPlace the meat mixture on a drip pan (a pan with a slotted tray on top) and form it into a big honkin’ loaf shape.

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafArrange thin pancetta slices in an overlapping pattern all over the surface (with my normal meatloaf, I use regular bacon…but pancetta is lovely!)…

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafThen spoon the tomato mixture all over the top. (Leave any excess juices in the bowl.)

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafTent the pan with foil and bake it for 40 minutes to start the cooking process and keep the pancetta from burning. Remove the foil and continue baking it for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and the meatloaf is no longer pink in the middle.

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafCut it into thick slices…

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafAnd serve it with your favorite sides. (Mac & Cheese and green beans are good!)

 
 
 
Italian MeatloafThis takes meatloaf to a whole new level. You’ll love it, adore it, and want to marry it.

And here are some variations!

• Use a combination of ground beef and ground turkey.
• Use a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage.
• Add 12 to 15 cloves of roasted garlic to the meat mixture. Mmmm…the flavor!
• Add a mixture of chopped fresh herbs (oregano, basil, etc.) instead of Italian seasoning.
• Add 1 cup grated Asiago cheese instead of Parmesan for a sharper flavor.

Here’s the handy dandy printable!

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Recipe

Italian Meatloaf

Prep Time:
15 Minutes
Cook Time:
1 Hour30 Minutes
Difficulty:
Easy
Servings:
12

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 6 slices Crusty Italian Bread
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 4 whole Large Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Minced Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 12 slices Thin Pancetta (about 4 To 6 Ounces)
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes (drained)
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, eggs, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into a large bowl and smush/knead it around with your hands until everything is completely mixed.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a separate bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne, and Worcestershire and stir it together.

Place the meat mixture on a drip pan (a pan with a slotted tray on top) and form it into a big honkin’ loaf shape. Arrange the pancetta slices in an overlapping pattern all over the surface then spoon the tomato mixture all over the top. (Leave any excess juices in the bowl.)

Tent the pan with foil and bake it for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking it for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and the meatloaf is no longer pink in the middle. Cut it into thick slice and serve it with your favorite sides.

Posted by Ree | The Pioneer Woman on March 10 2015