Juicy secret ingredient meatloaf in tomato sauce with zucchini ribbon “pasta”

IMAG1779_1 Secret ingredient meatloaf poached in tomato sauce with zucchini ribbon “pasta”

This meatloaf is based on a brilliant recipe from the “Two Greedy Italians” recipe book by Carluccio and Contaldo. It’s packed full of amazing recipes. Their idea of poaching the meatloaf in a rich, tasty sauce is genius, because it means that you are never left with a dry meatloaf. It also means that you can start dinner, then walk away and leave it for an hour or so. Bonus! I’ve made a few changes to their meatloaf recipe, with my “secret ingredients.” I think the addition of chorizo and chipotle really lifts the flavour, and avoids a bland meatloaf.

Carluccio and Contaldo recommend serving the meatloaf and sauce with pasta, in a two course extravaganza. I’ve had it this way and can confirm that it is delicious. It is perfect for special occasions. However, we wanted something lighter, only one course, so I used my trusty Spiralizer to create zucchini pasta ribbons. This is a great way of having something to absorb and mop up the sauce whilst keeping the meal from being too heavy for a normal meal. It also adds some colour! I cooked the zucchini ribbons in butter, which is a fairly rich and decadent thing to do. I figured I’d taken out the pasta, so I could afford to add in the butter. If you’re being more health conscious, use a teaspoon of olive oil instead.
If you are following the Paleo diet, substitute the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in the meatloaf for almond flour.

Ingredients (serves 2)
– 200 g minced pork
– 200g minced beef
– 1 large white onion, peeled
– 3 garlic cloves, peeled
– 100g chorizo (I used a dulce variety)
– half a teaspoon chipotle paste
– 30g grated Parmesan
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 30g breadcrumbs
– 1 large carrot
– 50ml red wine
– at least 400 ml passata (chunky if you can get it)
– 2 teaspoons oregano
– 1 large zucchini
– small knob of butter IMAG1778_1
1. Put the chorizo, one garlic clove and HALF of the onion in a food processor and whizz until you have very small pieces. If you don’t have a food processor, be prepared to chop them VERY small.
2. Mix both sets of mince, the blended onion, the blended chorizo, chipotle paste, Parmesan and the breadcrumbs together. Add the beaten egg a little at a time until you can make a large ball that holds together. You don’t want it to be really wet, but make sure that the mince sticks together in a solid piece. Make a large oval “meatloaf” shape.IMAG1769_1
3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish (make sure you have a lid for it). Carefully move the meatloaf to the pan and brown on all sides. This can be a bit tricky. I used two large spoons to turn it, but try not to break up the meatloaf.
4. Put the carrot in the food processor and whizz until you have small pieces, like before. This will mean that the carrot melts into the sauce as it cooks, adding in a lovely sweetness. Chop the remaining half of the onion and the other two garlic cloves finely.
5. Add the onions, carrot and garlic to the pan around the sides of the meatloaf. Cook gently for about ten minutes until softened.
6. Pour the wine over the meatloaf and vegetables, and then simmer gently to cook the alcohol off.
7. Add the passata to the pan. It should come to the top of the meatloaf. You may need to add a little water to make up the volume, but don’t add too much or your sauce will be too thin. Season with the oregano, salt and pepper. IMAG1771_1
8. Cover and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. Check occasionally to make sure the meatloaf isn’t poking too much out of the sauce – you don’t want it to dry out.
9. After at least an hour, start your zucchini preparation. Chop it in half. Use the ribbon setting on the Spiralizer to make long, thin ribbons of zucchini. Use scissors to chop them slightly, so that your ribbons aren’t too long to eat. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
10. Heat the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Season the melted butter with salt and pepper, and cook the zucchini ribbons until cooked to your liking – between 5 and 8 minutes.

11. While the zucchini cooks, lift your meatloaf out from the sauce. Turn the heat up on the sauce so that it reduces slightly. Slice the meatloaf.
12. If the zucchini ribbons have released a lot of liquid, you may want to drain them before plating. Make a bed of zucchini ribbons on your plate. Spoon some tomato sauce on top, then place a few slices of meatloaf on top. Finish with another small spoonful of the sauce*. IMAG1779_1 *Or, if you’re a sauce-fiend like me, a huge dollop!

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