Spaghetti and meatballs. A pretty common dinner in most households, right? Well, it certainly is at our house. Often times, I try to find ways to serve up similar flavors and textures in different ways to make dinner more interesting. When I make spaghetti and meatballs, I tend to play around with meatball recipes. This time around, I wanted to step out of the meatball box and try something else for a change. That’s when this Italian Meatloaf Parmigiana came about. Make an Italian meatloaf recipe served ‘Parmigiana’ style – it’s a flavorful spin on traditional spaghetti and meatballs!
Parmigiana usually involves pan-frying a meat (or even a vegetable such as eggplant), topping it with tomato sauce and melted cheese. There’s the ever popular veal, chicken and eggplant parmigiana versions. Since I had lean ground beef on hand, why not have a beef/Italian sausage version to add to the list? Combining lean ground beef and bulk Italian sausage, then forming the mixture into mini meatloaf patties was a tasty way to accomplish this. Of course, you could form meatballs, but I encourage you to switch it up!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, seeded, small diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
1/2 pound ground beef (80/20)
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups marinara sauce (jarred or homemade); divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions and garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.
When the peppers and onions are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together except for the marinara and shredded cheese.
Form large patties from the meat mixture and place on a lightly greased baking sheet
Top with 1 cup of the marinara making sure to spread evenly over the top.
Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes to ensure it’s cooked through.
Remove from the oven and top with shredded cheese; return to oven for 5 minutes to allow cheese to melt.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.