While I am definitely NOT Italian, most would certainly say I am saucy That is why I am able to unabashedly tell you this is the BEST MEATLOAF EVER!! Me, doing cartwheels over meatloaf? I never woulda thunk it, but here I am literally in awe over how good this turned out. And it’s not just me
this time; the whole family PLUS our young dinner guest were raving!
What’s the secret? Italian sausage. I had a couple of links left over from my sauce-making expedition, and thought they’d be a great add to the lean ground beef. I used my Sage Turkey Meatloaf as the base for proportions, but swapped out the breadcrumbs for oatmeal, the sage for plenty of oregano and basil, and chopped celery leaves (which pack tons of flavor) for the parsley. SUCCESS! It was even gorgeous before cooking, as you can clearly see
Here’s Maddy, our adorable dinner guest, hoisting the empty pan after the 6 of us demolished the goods I love that smile! She is one of my favorite young people — fun to be around, happy, and kind. As we were driving to my house for dinner, I said, “Jeez, Maddy, if I’d known we were going to have a dinner guest, I would have showered!” She replied, “It’s OK, I’m not at my best either.” SQUISH LOVE that girl!!!
If you’d rather stick with a leaner meatloaf, I am sure this would translate well using leaner meats like ground turkey and Italian sausages made from turkey or chicken. It is definitely the mixture of spices that makes this so wonderful, and the finishing touch of spaghetti sauce and shaved Italian cheeses is like the icing on the beefcake!
Saucy Italian Meatloaf
1 egg and 1 egg white
3/4 cup nonfat milk
2/3 cup oats
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
1 and 1/4 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
2 links of sweet Italian sausage
1/2 cup prepared spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce)
1/4 cup shaved Italian cheese (I used a Parmesan/Asiago/Romano combo)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Add the oats, onion, celery, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
2) Make a slice lengthwise down each sausage link. Remove the casing, and crumble the filling into the bowl with the egg/oat mixture. Add the ground beef, and stir all until well combined (I like to use my hands for this step. Ew.)
3) Spray a standard loaf pan (usually 8x4x2 inches) with pan spray. Add the meatloaf mixture and press evenly into the pan.
4) Cook for about 1 hour, until the center temperature reads 160 degrees. Remove from oven, spread the tomato sauce over the top, then the cheese, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.