I can’t remember where I first tasted this meatloaf, but when I started looking around for recipes for it they all seemed to be based on one created by the amazing Lidia Bastianich. In a nutshell, it’s the same meatloaf we all know and love, but there’s a good amount of ricotta swirled into the meat mixture…and you KNOW I am always looking for any excuse to make my own ricotta cheese. And if that wasn’t enough, there are also cubes of mozzarella cheese that melt into wonderfulness as the meat loaf bakes. And if THAT wasn’t enough, it’s served topped with tomato sauce (I used my favorite sauce, the incredible tomato butter sauce that cooks up in a jif with just three ingredients and will guarantee that you never even LOOK at a jar of pre-made tomato sauce again as long as you live.)
Now, I followed Lidia’s directions pretty closely with one major exception, and that was the amount of ingredients and the amount of cooking time – I cut both of them pretty much in half. There’s a link to her original recipe right under my slightly adapted version, so if you are cooking for a crowd (8 or more) that one is what you want. And then after you make it, you are going to want to go check out her cookbooks as soon as humanly possible. Because you know that this rocking great meatloaf is only the beginning. And if you are cooking for a smaller group, take a look at my modified version. Not that I wouldn’t be incredibly tempted to single-handedly eat eight servings all by my own self.
So here you go, the meat loaf to end all meat loafs. Hurray for meat loaf!
Slightly adapted from Lidia’s marvelous recipe