Are you in search of a hearty and flavorful dish that brings a touch of Italian flair to your dinner table? Look no further than this mouthwatering Baked Meatloaf with Tomato-Basil Sauce recipe.
Packed with wholesome ingredients and bursting with savory flavors, this dish is a true crowd-pleaser that will leave your loved ones asking for seconds. Let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to create this culinary masterpiece.
1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). While the oven is heating up, grease a rectangular baking pan lightly to prevent sticking.
2. Sauté the Aromatics: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, chopped celery, and half of the chopped onion. Sauté the mixture until the celery becomes tender and the onions turn translucent. This aromatic blend will infuse your sauce with a rich flavor base.
3. Simmer the Tomato-Basil Sauce: Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the crushed red pepper for a gentle kick of heat. Stir the mixture well and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Incorporate the chopped basil for a fresh and herbaceous note that will elevate the sauce to new heights.
4. Prepare the Meat Mixture: In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, minced garlic, ½ cup of the tomato-basil sauce, Parmesan cheese, the remaining chopped onion, and breadcrumbs. Season the mixture with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences. The result will be a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.
5. Shape and Bake: Gently mold the meat mixture into the greased baking pan, shaping it into a rectangular loaf. Pour another ½ cup of the tomato-basil sauce over the top of the meatloaf, spreading it evenly. This extra sauce layer will infuse the meat with additional flavors and keep it moist during baking. Place the pan in the preheated oven.
6. Bake to Perfection: Allow the meatloaf to bake for 50-60 minutes, or until its internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C). This ensures that the meat is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat. Once the meatloaf has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and prepare for the finishing touch.
7. Melt the Cheesy Goodness: Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the meatloaf. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese melts and turns golden brown, creating a delectable, gooey layer of cheesy goodness.
8. Serve and Savor: Carefully remove the baked meatloaf from the oven and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring each slice is succulent and tender. Cut the meatloaf into slices, revealing the luscious layers of meat and cheese. Serve your masterpiece warm, accompanied by the remaining tomato-basil sauce for dipping or drizzling.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 stalk celery (chopped)
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 cup chopped basil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, celery, and ½ the onion and cook until celery is soft.
Add crushed tomatoes and dried crushed pepper then stir for 20 minutes until it simmers. Add in basil.
In a bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, garlic, 1/2 cup of the sauce, Parmesan cheese, onion and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Lightly grease a rectangle pan, then add in the meat mixture. Add a 1/2 cup of the sauce on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until meat reaches internal temperature of 160°F. Remove from oven.
Add mozzarella cheese on top, then return to oven. Bake until cheese melts, then remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
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