Meatloaf in tomato sauce...aka the best meatloaf in the world!

I made meatloaf few times already, but... there was always something wrong with it... I mean it was edible, but either too dry and almost crumbly, or falling apart, or too soft and way too moist. I almost gave up on making another meatloaf ever again! But that was then... There's a cookbook, quite new to me, but I'm already in love with it! I've been admiring the author of this book for a long time now, love watching his cooking programs and enjoy reading his books (I can almost hear his voice and lovely accent in my head while I'm reading them :) ). So... putting all my trust in the author and knowing I was never disappointed with the result when following his recipes, I decided to give the dreaded meatloaf one more chance. I thought "if it won't work with Antonio, it won't work at all!".
Carluccio's "Simple cooking" book on the counter, meat in the bowl and ready to work!
How I'm glad that I've made it! THE BEST meatloaf ever! Firm, not too dry not too moist, plenty of flavor and the resulting sauce - perfect with pasta! What's more - I think I might even like it more the second day, sliced, just on its own... Do give it a go! You won't regret it!

"We used to eat this in our house when money was short but we still wanted the taste of meat. My mother had a magical ability to transform minced beef into a succulent meatloaf, which was sliced to accompany a pasta, flavoured with the produced sauce. A complete meal in one!" - Antonio

How to make it...
- 750 g lean minced beef
- 750 g lean minced pork
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 100 g parmesan, freshly grated
- 150 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely puréed
- salt and pepper
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 10 basil leaves
- 500 g rigatoni or penne, I used Verrigini Radiatori (perfect shape for "catching" the sauce) I got it straight from Italy from UFUUD

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Put both minces in a large bowl and add the eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix very well together, then shape with your hands into a nice oval shape, rather like a loaf of bread.
In a large 3 litre casserole, which should be big enough to hold the loaf and its sauce, heat the olive oil and gently fry the loaf until brown all over. Turn it gently so as not to break it. Now add the onions and fry until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil to the casserole until the loaf is covered (add water if necessary). Cover with the lid or some foil.
Now let it cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours. Check from time to time: if it looks as if it needs additional moisture, add a little water. Taste for salt and pepper.
Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes. (If you wish to serve the meatloaf with pasta you should cook it in plenty of boiling salted water for about 8–10 minutes during this time). Lift the meatloaf – carefully! – from the sauce, cut into slices and serve with the sauce and pasta, if desired.


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