Can you believe it’s already October?? I really can’t, this fall is just flying by! Before we know it, it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. But for now I’m just trying to enjoy the last of the nice weather because I know the bottom will drop out soon.
As we get into this time of year, I always start to crave comfort foods and meatloaf certainly qualifies as comfort food in my book. This Italian meatloaf is especially comforting and delicious. If you for some reason think you don’t like meatloaf, you’ve got to try this one….I’m pretty sure it will make you a meatloaf convert. It’s a combination of ground beef, Italian sausage and pancetta and it is perfection in a loaf! The sausage makes it a little on the spicy side and the pancetta adds great flavor and helps everything stay nice and moist. Then you top it all off with marinara sauce and mozzarella…..do I need to say more?
Serve this with some mashed potatoes or a side of pasta tossed with marinara sauce and a veggie and you have a fabulous comfort food meal. Perfect for any fall evening!
- 4 oz pancetta, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 lb Italian sausage
- 1 lb ground beef (I use 90% lean)
- 3/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and saute until pancetta is crisp.
Remove pancetta from skillet and set aside.
Add onion, red pepper and garlic to skillet. Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are tender.
Let veggies cool slightly.
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Mix ingredients (your hands work best for this) until everything is well combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place meatloaf mixture on baking sheet and form into one large loaf or two small loaves (you can freeze one for later).
Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes.
After 50 minutes, top meatloaf with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Let meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing.
NOTE: If you are going to freeze one meatloaf for later, remove from oven after 50 minutes. When you’re ready to eat that one, defrost and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, topping with sauce and cheese for the last 10 minutes.
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