Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Carmela Soprano's Polpettone - Meatloaf, Italian Style

Some folks like something different for Valentine’s Day.
And some folks like something familiar, basic comfort food.
And, wouldn’t you know it, these folks usually end up marrying each other.

And, wouldn’t you know it, they have to celebrate Valentine’s Day together.

I've got just the thing in Entertaining with the Sopranos.
Carmela has a meatloaf recipe, Polpettone.
Really, this recipe has something for everybody.
Ground beef with a few fancy touches.

Would I grind sirloin?
No way.
To my way of thinking, Ma's meatloaf, Maltese style makes sense.
Ground beef, regular breadcrumbs, and bacon.
What’s not to love?

I still wonder…
What is Carmela’s problem with crusts?  
What does she do with them? 


Serves 6 - 8

Have on hand 
3 hard cooked eggs, peeled

Tear into small pieces
4 slices of day-old Italian bread, crusts removed (make about 1 Cup)
Thoroughly soak in 
1/2 Cup milk
Gently squeeze out the excess milk.

Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan
Preheat oven to 350º           
Bake 70 min.

Place in a large bowl
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
the soaked bread
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 
1/4 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
Mix well with your hands.

Sprinkle a large sheet of wax paper with water.
Pat the meat mixture out to form a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
Arrange on top of the meat
3 ounces sliced prosciutto (or mortadella)
Scatter on top of the prosciutto 
3 ounces provolone, chopped 
Put on top, in a row, lengthwise down the center
the 3 hard-cooked eggs

Lift one long side of the paper and roll up the meat, enclosing the filling and removing the wax paper as you go.
Pinch the ends of the meat roll closed to seal in the filling.
Place the loaf seam side down in the prepared pan.
Bake 70 minutes.
To be on the safe side, the internal temperature should reach 155º F.
Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

Carmela serves this with Tomato Sauce.
Oh, and probably some pasta and a salad.
The sauce can be prepared 3 days ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated.
It can also been frozen.

Without the sauce, mashed potatoes, a favourite vegetable and dessert would nicely round out the meal.
And maybe some catsup.

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