Stuffed Meatloaf

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This delectable Sicilian style meatloaf is stuffed with mozzarella cheese, ham, and hardboiled egg and then covered with tomato sauce.  You can skip out on the hardboiled egg if you like but it wouldn’t be considered a proper Sicilian meatloaf without it.  It is my variation of my grandmother’s recipe.  If you’re like me – not a big fan of meatloaf – all meatloaf recipes seem to taste the same.  You might change your mind and be pleasantly surprised by this recipe.

STUFFED MEATLOAF
(Purpettone Ripienu/Polpettone Ripieno)

FOR THE SAUCE:
1/2 cup finely minced onion,
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper

FOR THE MEATLOAF:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 extra large eggs
2 tablespoons currants or raisins
2 tablespoons minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 slices white sandwich bread

FOR THE FILLING:
8-10 slices deli-cut mozzarella cheese
5-6 slices ham or genoa salami
4 medium hard boiled eggs (optional)

MAKE THE SAUCE:  Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until soft and transparent, about 8 minutes.  Stir in tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup water.  Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to low simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

MAKE THE MEATLOAF MIXTURE:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place the ground beef, sausage, onion, cheese, eggs, currants, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Place bread slices in a shallow bowl and add enough water to saturate the bread.  Squeeze out as much water as you can from the bread slices.  Add bread to the meat mixture and mix with your hands until all the ingredients are incorporated.

SHAPE THE MEATLOAF:  Place 2 (18-inch) lengths of plastic wrap side by side, overlapping along the longer ends, on a counter or flat surface.  Place the meat mixture on top and flatten with your hands into a 9-inch by 12-inch rectangle.

Place a layer of ham, and then a layer of mozzarella on top of the meatloaf mixture, leaving 1/2-inch space along the sides.  Place the hardboiled eggs end to end along the narrow end of the meat mixture closest to you.  Beginning at the end with the eggs, carefully lift the plastic wrap and loosely roll the meat over the eggs and continue to roll in a jelly-roll fashion.  Pat the ends of the meat loaf down to close.  Place the meat loaf seam-side down into a greased baking dish.  Cover with tomato sauce and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.

 

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