Thursday, August 21, 2014

Giada's Meatloaf

A friend told me about Giada's meatloaf and it is really good! Dave and I had it last week - it was a lot for two people so next time I think I will cut the recipe in half.

Quick Marinara Sauce
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
1 large shallot, finely chopped or ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (in puree)
2 dried Turkish bay leaves, broken in half
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil plus sprigs for garnish (optional)
2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmesan Reggiano)
1 small onion or ½ large onion, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
⅓ cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 pounds ground beef (80% lean)
½ cup coarsely grated whole milk mozzarella cheese


Quick Marinara Sauce
In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, and shallot. Sauté until the celery softens, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, and dried crushed pepper. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat to medium-low or low and continue to simmer gently until the sauce thickens slightly and is reduced to about 3 cups, 20 to 25 minutes. Mix in basil, salt, and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Remove bay leaves before using.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, stir eggs, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to blend. Mix in 2/3 cup marinara sauce, chopped basil, Parmesan cheese, onion, and panko. Add beef and blend well. Mound meatloaf mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet; press out to 12x8-inch rectangle (about 1 inch thick). Spread ½ cup sauce thinly over the top.

Bake the meatloaf until cooked through and instant read thermometer registers 160°F, 25 to 30 minutes (there will be lots of juices and drippings on sheet around meatloaf). Cut the meatloaf into eight 4-inch squares and separate the squares slightly. On each, square spread 2 generous tablespoons sauce, leaving a border of meat visible. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of mozzarella cheese in center of the sauce. Return meatloaf to oven. Bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Transfer meatloaf squares to plates. Spoon additional sauce alongside; garnish with basil sprig.

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