Dennis’s Italian Meatloaf Recipe
I took this from Giada De Laurentis' appearance on the "Today Show" this week and the family loved it!
• 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 1/2 large onion, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
• 1/3 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
• 2 pounds ground beef (80% lean)
• 1/2 cup coarsely grated whole milk mozzarella cheese
For the Marinara sauce, just use inexpensive jar marinara sauce or if you can prepare your own.
For the meatloaf: 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.
Makes 4 to 6 servings