most of an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce (reserve small portion to top loaves)
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon grated Pecorino Romano
Ground black pepper
This is a variation on the way my mom taught me. I only recently measured how I do it so I could share the recipe with others. Make this often enough, and you won’t need to measure, either! This recipe always comes out moist and delicious.
1Line a baking sheet (I use a pizza pan) with foil for meatloaf—no foil necessary for meatballs. Combine ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Use care just to combine—don’t overhandle the meat.
Quarter the ingredients to yield four portions of meat. Gently form each quarter into an oval ball, then flatten slightly to form a mini loaf. Top each loaf with a spoonful of tomato sauce—spread this over the top of each loaf.
Gently form meat mixture into large oval and pat to flatten. Top loaf with remaining tomato sauce.
4TO MAKE AN ITALIANSTUFFEDMEATLOAF:
Split your meat mixture into two halves. Form the bottom of the loaf with the first half, then layer thinly sliced genoa salami, thinly sliced proscuittini (peppered ham), thinly sliced provolone (my favorite is BelGioso). Then add the remaining meatloaf mixture, making sure to cover the layer of cold cuts. Top loaf with remaining tomato sauce.
Roll meat mixture into balls and place on unlined baking sheet (no foil here). Add water to the pan just till water covers the bottom of the pan.
6Makes four mini loaves, one large loaf, or a whole pan of meatballs.
7Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes (for mini loaves). Use less time for meatballs, more time for a large loaf.
It took me years and many trips overseas to figure out how to replicate the spiced orange duck that was so popular when I was a kid. This recipe is easier than it looks, and the results are stellar every time. -- Andrew Zimmern