A few weeks ago, as I sat at the breakfast table at 5:30 am, I was fortunate to find Lidia Bastianich on a PBS station. Lidia, on this particular morning, was making a ground beef meat loaf with ingredients that included ricotta cheese, scallions, mozzarella and sprinkle of nutmeg. Somewhat unusual ingredients for a delicious meat loaf.
Whole Foods has on special until next Tuesday, 85% lean ground beef for $3.99/lb. ($3.59/lb. if you’re a Prime member). I purchased 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef as I was making this meat loaf for three people and merely cut the recipe in half. I purchased the 15 ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese at Wegmans on Monday for $1.99 and the mozzarella I already had on hand in the freezer. I also need a bunch of scallions and fresh parsley for the meat loaf.
While my granddaughter napped today, I quickly put this meat loaf together so that I could merely pop it in the oven later in the day. Once you put all the ingredients together, the meat loaf was rather substantial. It has to bake in a 375 degree oven covered for 45 minutes and then uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes. As I cut this recipe in half, mine baked only for an additional hour. I used a meat thermometer to make sure it had reached 165 degrees F.
The meat loaf was done about 20 minutes before my husband was due home. I “gilded the lily” and placed slices of mozzarella on top to melt. Lidia suggested adding a bit of the ricotta cheese to some tomato marinara sauce and serving it with the meat loaf.
To go along with the meat loaf, I made Four Cheese mashed potatoes that I made with a seasoning mix from Williams-Sonoma. For a green vegetable we had some French green beans. Both my husband and my daughter loved the meat loaf, everyone went back for seconds. The meat loaf was rich and moist from the ingredients. It’s keeper of a recipe if I do say so myself.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.