Meatloaf: Italian style

I apologize in advance for not having any pictures to go with these recipes. Meatloaf, or at least my meatloaf, doesn't make for pretty pictures. Besides, dinner was later than usual and I was hungry. :)

Last night I made two meatloaves: Italian and Mexican. I do not use breadcrumbs in my meatloaf, and I'm only cooking for two, so I tend to make small, dense meatloaf.

Meatloaf: Italian Style

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef (I used a mixture of ground chuck and extra lean ground beef)
1 small can chopped mushrooms
1 can Italian diced tomatoes, divided (sometimes these are labeled "Italian", or just look for diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, etc)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
shredded Mozzarella cheese (or use Parmesan from the green can in a pinch)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix* the beef, mushrooms, egg and half of the diced tomatoes in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste, and add any other seasoning you might like. Last night I added onion powder, seasoning salt and McCormick's All Purpose Seasoning Blend (which is a variety of dried herbs).

*By mix what I really mean is "Take your rings off, wash your hands, stick your hands in the bowl and get it all together"

Shape the meat mixture into a loaf-shape in the baking dish of your choice. Since I was making two loaves I used a large glass baking dish that would hold both with room to spare.

Once shaped into a loaf, make a channel or indentation on the top of the loaf, down the middle, for the tomatoes. Pour the remaining half of the diced tomatoes into this channel. This keeps the tomatoes from running down the sides of the meatloaf and ending up in the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle the top with grated Mozzarella. I was out of Mozzarella so I used green can Parmesan instead.

Bake for 35-45 minutes.

This recipe should give you 4 nice sized servings. Or, if you are feeding a hungry man, as I was last night, one hungry man serving and 2 other servings. If you are cooking for more you could easily double this recipe, though I would recommend cooking it as two loaves.

Results: This is my standard meatloaf recipe, and we liked it as usual. This is the first time I've used grated Parmesan, and it was good. The Parmesan went well with the other flavors (of course!).

I'll post the companion, Meatloaf: Mexican Style soon.

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