Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sicilian Meatloaf

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      Growing up, I was not a huge fan of meatloaf.  My mom would make it from time to time, but it was not necesarily my favorite meal.  Now, don't get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with her meatloaf.  She made a very traditional meatloaf with either saltine crackers or oatmeal and then the usual egg, ketchup and onion.  I'm sure if I was at her house for a meatloaf dinner now, I would find it to be very tasty.  (So mom, if you want to have us over for meatloaf, just let me know!)

     When I got to be a little bit older, my Dad would make Sicilian meatloaf occasionally.  This meatloaf was filled with ham and mozzerella cheese and rolled up like a jelly roll.  This one was more to my taste and always felt like a special meal (probably because it looked like it was really hard to make, but read on, it's not).

     A few years ago, I decided that I needed to make my own version of Sicilian meatloaf.  I wanted the meatloaf itself to be moist and have the same flavors as an Italian meatball.  So to my meat mixture I add Italian breadcrumbs, eggs, parmesan cheese and tomato paste.  Then to make it really special, I add onion, garlic and red pepper that's been sauteed in a little olive oil.  This adds great flavor and helps the meatloaf to stay moist.  Then I fill it with deli ham, shredded cheese (either mozzerella or a 4 cheese blend) and basil.
I serve it topped with marinara sauce and it is absolutely delicious!

Sicilian Meatloaf

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • about 1/4 lb deli ham
  • 12-15 large basil leaves
  • 1 1/4 cup either shredded mozzerella or 4 cheese Italian (I used a combo of mozzerella, provolone, asiago and romano)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Chop the onion, garlic and red pepper. 

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and red pepper and sauted for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, bread crumbs, parmesan, eggs, tomato paste, salt, pepper, parsley and vegetable mixture.  With your hands, mix until everything is well combined.


Take a large sheet of parchment paper and lay it out on the counter.  Place your meat mixture in the center.

Pat mixture out to form a rectangle about 8 x 15.  Then top with a layer of ham, a layer of basil and then a layer of cheese, leaving a 1 inch border all around.

Starting at the 8 inch end, roll the meatloaf up, jelly roll style, using the parchment paper to help guide you.

Press down on top seam to seal and press the ends together to seal as well.

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 1 hour in preheated oven.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve topped with marinara sauce.


Shared at Everyday Mom's Meals on 11/6/11
Shared at This Chick Cooks on 11//9/11

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