Sunday, October 10, 2010

Anna's "Polpettone".... Layered Meatloaf

With the arrival autumn and the cooler weather, we search out comforting food. To get away from pasta dishes, meatloaf seemed like an appetizing alternative. Although it wasn't a regular dish on my parent's table, meatloaf, "polpettone" (large meatball) does originate from the basic meatball recipe. This is my take on meatloaf with an Italian twist, a mix of veal, pork, and beef stuffed with tasty layers of  tomatoes and spinach, zucchini, caramelized onion and mushrooms. The golden brown topping of panko breadcrumbs with Parmigiana Reggiano, parsley, garlic,and extra virgin olive oil seals in all the meat's juices and provides a crunch to every bite. I hope you enjoy !
1/2 large sweet onion chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 large zucchini with peel, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cups chopped tomatoes
4 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped
dash of salt and pepper

In a frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the chopped onion and cook until golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until both are caramelized. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Using the same pan, add some additional oil, and saute the zucchini slices until golden. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
Add  the tomatoes to the pan and allow to stew and the liquid to reduce. Toss in the spinach and cook for a minute. Should their be excess water, simply drain the mixture or pat with a paper towel. Allow to cool.
Onion mushroom, zucchini,and tomato spinach mixtures for the three layer filling
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
handful of fresh Italian parsley chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese
1 garlic clove finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. The breadcrumb mixture will glisten with the addition of the oil, which turns the topping crunchy and  a lovely golden brown

2 pounds, minced veal, pork, and beef  mix
4 eggs
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large mixing bowl, add the meat, eggs, breadcrumbs and the remainder of  the ingredients and mix with your hands to combine.
To assemble the meatloaf, place half of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 5"x9" loaf pan and pat down gently. Spread a layer of the tomato/spinach mixture on the meat.  Add the zucchini on top of  the tomato/spinach layer and spread evenly. Place the onion/mushrooms on the zucchini and spread the remainder of the meat on the stuffing. Top with the prepared breadcrumbs and bake in a 350º F oven for 1 hour.



Juicy and tender meatloaf with all that caramelized goodness and crunchy breadcrumb topping.


  1. Anna..this is comfort food for autumn. I would love to have a piece...looking at them thru the screen makes me salivates over the keyboard :) Thanks for sharing this mouth-watering meatloaf :)

  2. Loaf looks crunchy and delicious! Beautiful texture.

  3. Thanks Elin. This meatloaf was a real hit, moist and full of flavour.

  4. Sanjeeta, I'm really glad to have gone with the crunchy breadcrumb instead of a tomato based topping.

  5. Wonderful recipe! This is very different from a standard looks delicious. I love the panko coating! Thanks for sharing...

  6. Thanks Karen. I'm big fan of panko breadcrumbs, and use them all the time in recipes. They really add a nice crunch and rather than soak up the meat juices, they seem to seal them in.

  7. wonderful recipe! I love this kind of confort food !it looks delicious.....kisses...

  8. Wow what a feast! Leftovers must be awesome (=

  9. oops my comment was for your thanksgiving feast (= But this meatloaf is definitely a winner!

  10. Hi Chiara,
    Thanks for your comment. I couldn't resist putting an Italian twist on this popular Canadian/American dish.

  11. Hi Lisa, Thanks for the visit and taking the time to comment. Leftovers are great and have made their way to the turkey soup and turkey pot pie.

  12. Got to give it a try, Need to incorporate some squash in the filling, I suppose the zucchini could go. What do you think ?

  13. Wayne, Thanks for dropping by and to answer your question, by all means give the squash a try. I simply used what I had on hand,and what I thought went well together. Let me know how your version turns out.

  14. Thats probably the weirdest (in a good way) and most delicious looking meatloaf I've ever seen. Its like meatloaf meets eggplant parm or an au gratin dish combo?.

    It looks amazing, its like a complete meal all in one delightful package.

  15. Thanks Cat, I'm glad you like the meatloaf recipe. You're absolutely right,it's a meal in itself. What's also great about the layered meatloaf is that you can adapt the stuffing to your favourite vegetables.