Tag Archives: delicious

Italian Stuffed Meatloaf Florentine

I’m giving away a secret…my famous Italian meatloaf recipe!  Ok, well maybe it’s only famous between my sister and I, but it’s ridiculous!!  It’s almost like a ginormous meatball or maybe a deconstructed lasagna..call it what you want, but we call it delicioso!

It’s a fun twist on your traditional American meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  There’s nothing wrong with old fashioned comfort food,  but this spin will keep your week nights a little less boring.. ☺️ You can also prepare the meat mixture the night before and then just sauté the spinach and assemble the next evening if you’re crunched for time after a busy day at work.

I hope you enjoy this family favorite recipe as much as me…and my sister. 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 15oz container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 bag frozen spinach, slighty thawed
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO 

Side Dish

  • 1 pckg noodles (I.e. Penne, spaghetti)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

We’re going to first rinse and chop & dice our vegetables (onion, garlic, bell pepper & parsley).  You’ll also seperate the minced garlic.  2 cloves for the spinach and 3 cloves for the meat mixture. 

 

Heat the EVOO to med-low in a skillet and add in the 2 cloves minced garlic.  Cook till fragrant, about 1 minute.   

 

Next, you’ll add in the spinach.  *dont worry if it’s still a bit frozen, it will work.  You can also use fresh spinach if you have that available.  

Stir the garlic spinach mix occasionally till warm.  Transfer the cooked spinach to a dish and set aside while keeping the leftover liquid in the skillet. *I like to place my cooked spinach in a paper towel lined bowl to soak up the extra juices. 

 

While you’re finishing up cooking the spinach (aka the florentine) portion of this masterpiece, we’ll start the meat mixture.  Super simple!

In a very large bowl, combine almost everything else.  The beef, pork, veggies, garlic, bread crumbs, seasonings, the beaten eggs and the milk.  Remember to take off your jewelry because you’re about to get your hands dirty!  Get in there and thoroughly mix this up. 

  


Now, in a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick, you’re going to start the fun part! 

Take about 2/3 of the meat mixture and make a firmly packed rectangle while pressing down the middle to create an almost 1″ thick by 2″ tall “walls”.  You’re going to be filling this area with some good stuff! 

 

Spread your container of ricotta cheese in the base 1st. 


Next, you’re going to spread the garlic-spinach mix overtop that.  

Then sprinkle about 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over your spinach. 


Finally, we’ll top this off with the remaining 1/3 meat mixture.  I like to almost make ‘hamburger patties’ out of it and place over top while pinching it all together to make a seal.  It’s really easier than it seems.  Then I just press and pack it tight to keep that perfect rectangular shape.

 

Pop this in your preheated oven.  It will cook for one hour.

After about 30 minutes of you’re stuffed meatloaf cooking, start your noodles and sauce.  I like to pour my sauce right into the skillet we sautéed our spinach in.  That flavor from the remaining EVOO, garlic and spinach will only enhance the flavor of the jarred sauce.  *cook your noodles about 2 minutes less than the package directions.  Once time is up ladle straight into the marinara sauce, along with about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. 

   

While your side is coming together, that 1 hour should be up.  Sprinkle the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese over your cooked meatloaf and cook for about 10 more minutes, till cheese is bubbly and melted.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. 

   

Cut into thick slices and place over your marinara dressed noodles alongside a glass of good vino.  Enjoy!! 

 

*If you do not care for ricotta, you can substitute with all mozzarella cheese.  The thick slices of mozzarella in you’re grocers deli section would be ideal, nice and gooey!

*I chose a lean ground beef, because there’s enough fat in the ground pork to keep it juicy.

  

Turkey, Brie & Apple Pockets

The options of fillings on these are limitless and trust me..I’ve tried a few, even breakfast.  However,…..nothinnggg that I’ve found and tried beats this one.  These are knock your socks off good!!  Did I just sound old there?? 😉

This is barely even considered ‘cooking’, besides the fact that you have to turn on your oven for 20minutes.  The great thing is no one will be the wiser.  This tastes like a picnic at the park or fancy bistro fare.   It’s kind of impressive.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 lb quality, deli turkey breast, thin slices
  • 8oz of Brie cheese, 8 thin slices
  • 1-2 apples, thin slices
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1 egg 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray. With the first roll of crescent dough, which I have my husband open due to my irrational fear of them ‘popping’ open (hell, I’d even walk to a neighbor before I opened one of those alone), start taking the precut triangles apart. You will place 4 on each baking sheet.  However, first you must stretch them to literally double in size.  You can either gently pull and press with your fingertips or lightly flour and use a rolling pin or wine bottle.    Now with 4 dough triangles on each sheet, let’s cut them apples!  I have no rhyme or reason to how I cut them, but I just like them in thin slices.  I also prefer to leave the skins on.  Do what you wish..  After your apple(s) have been sliced, just toss in the spicy brown mustard, the honey and the cinnamon.  Mix well…these are weirdly delicious.  Like seriously..     While my apples are soaking up that sweet & tangy concoction, I slice the Brie cheese, thinly as well!   Assembly time!!!  Take 1-2 slices of your turkey (I’m sure any turkey would work here, but I honestly use our grocers REAL oven-roasted, sliced at a 1 or 2..it’s way, way better than Boars Head, etc even!) and lay lengthwise on your dough.  Follow that with 3-4 Apple slices and your Brie Cheese.       With your second can of crescent dough, do the same as above.  Carefully press or roll out till doubled. Make an egg wash with the 1 egg and a splash of water.  Beat together till lightly frothy. Lay each of the 8 extra dough triangles overtop your assembled “pockets”.  This is where you realize how great it is to thinly slice all of your ingredients.  Press each side together and crimp with a fork.  Do not worry AT ALL about it looking pretty, you know I like things rustic!  Also, if you have any tears on the top, you can always mend it with a bit of extra dough from the corners or just let that gooey Brie ooze right on out!  Brush the tops and crimped edges with the egg wash you just made.  This will make a beautiful golden crust and keep it slightly crisp.  Bake these for 12-15 minutes till beautifully browned!  They’re best served straight out of the oven or at room temperature…just be careful because that cheese is hot!  These are soooooo good!!! 

%d bloggers like this: