Aside from any of my negative thoughts when it came to meatloaf, I grew to love it after finding this version. Before Michael Chiarello opened my eyes to this recipe, I only experienced the kind that was slathered with ketchup and who knows what kind of meat or mix ins. It was usually served at church potlucks.
Instead of ketchup, this meatloaf is topped with a tomatoey (is that a word?!) marinara and packed full of peppers, onion, cheese and Italian spices. This has been a regular menu item for us the past few years. In fact, I already blogged about this back in 2007, but I felt you needed a reminder and a better photo. So, this is a redo of that post. This is a quick weeknight meal. Hopefully you’re now convinced that you need to give this a try!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 red pepper, seeded, small diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
1 lb. ground beef
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the peppers, onion and garlic and cook until just soft. Remove from heat and cool.
When the peppers and onion are cooled, mix the remaining ingredients together minus the marinara. Use your hands to pack the meat mixture into the loaf pan, or if you are not using a loaf pan, shape the meat into a loaf and set on a baking sheet or oven dish. Top evenly with marinara.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer, inserted in the middle of the meatloaf, reads 160˚F. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Source: Adapted from Michael Chiarello, The Food Network