I was raised attending big Sunday family dinners at my grandmother’s house. My mom’s mother was a tiny blonde Irish woman, yet she was married to a full-blooded Italian and cooked THE BEST ITALIAN FOOD I’ve ever tasted in my life. I have so many fond memories of walking into her house with the smell of simmering garlic or freshly made sauce wafting through the air.
Since I’m mainly inspired by my grandmother’s cooking (which included EVERYTHING from scratch), I will assume that’s why I tend to put an Italian spin on many of my dishes.
Last night for dinner we were a little lacking in the meat department – all I could find in the freezer was a pound of organic ground turkey – so I immediately figured: meatloaf. But, upon looking in the refrigerator to find fresh spinach, garlic, and mozzarella, I knew this meatloaf would be anything but my ordinary recipe. So here’s what I made:
NOT YOUR ORDINARY MEATLOAF
- 1 lb organic ground turkey
- Handful of fresh organic spinach
- 1/2 lb organic uncured bacon (can be substituted with prosciutto)
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
- 1 egg (slightly beaten)
- 1 small white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large carrot
- 2 ribs celery
- A few dashes Worcester sauce
- A few squirts Ketchup
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray
- Prep the veggies & herbs: dice the onion, carrot, & celery, mince the garlic cloves, and chop [or measure out] the herbs.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT for the fresh spinach, mozzarella, and bacon.
- Take half of the turkey mixture and form into a long flat shape (see pics below) on the baking sheet. Next, take half of the spinach and place it on top of the meat. Cover the spinach with all the sliced mozzarella, then top with the remaining spinach. Finally, take the rest of the turkey mixture and carefully cover the top, being sure to seal the sides together with your fingers so the cheese doesn’t leak out while cooking.
- Using one slice at a time, cover the meatloaf with the bacon. (Note: you do not need to cover the bottom). Top the bacon with a few grinds of black pepper.
- Cook meatloaf uncovered for 1 hour. Let rest for about 10 minutes until cutting into it. Enjoy!
RESULT: My hubby loved it! I served the meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and the combination actually played out well. In my mind it tasted like an Italian bacon turkey burger and the mashed potatoes acted as the fries. 😉
Hope you enjoy this recipe. I’d love to hear about your unique meatloaf recipes too!