Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
From A Taste of Italy (1996) by The American Cooking Guild: "When 14-year-old Catherine de Medici left Florence to marry King Henry II of France, her entourage of chefs encountered spinach for the first time. From then on, they referred to dishes with spinach as florentine, which means 'bed of spinach' in French. This moist spinach and beef loaf tastes even better topped with marinara sauce."
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, large, finely minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1⁄2 lb Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1⁄2 cup tomato juice (preferably fresh) or 1⁄2 cup beef stock
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup marinara sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil and saute onion, garlic, and fennel seed 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Combine with the remaining ingredients.
- Shape mixture into a log and place in a shallow casserole dish or loaf pan. Top with marinara.
- Bake 75 minutes or until the thermometer registers 170 degrees.
- Cool 10 minutes, then serve.
I really love this recipe. My husband and dad have it 4 stars, but both went back for seconds or more! My mom and I, on the other hand, gave it a definite 5 stars! The best part is my 18 month old gobbles this up! (Plus, this is FULL of iron -spinach & beef- great for us, ladies ;P )
AMAZING! Absolutely divine! The meatloaf has lots of flavor and a good Italian dish. It definitely warms up the body on a cold November evening! I didn't top the meatloaf with a marinara sauce, but I used tomato sauce with pinches of basil, parsley, and oregano, and celery salt. It still turned out great! My meatloaf didn't fall apart either. My oven cooks hot, so I only baked mine for 50 minutes and it had reached 170 degrees and looked and smelled done. Definitely a keeper! YUM!
Outstanding! Very Italian! Not your 'typical' meatloaf at all. Very moist and full of fresh, rich flavor. DO be sure and use the "fresh" ingredients listed as I believe they make a difference (i.e., the fresh herbs, garlic, grated parmesan). I would have been sorry if I hadn't used the marinara sauce - I think it's necessary rather than optional. However, I let my meatloaf cook for a little over an hour, drained off most of the grease, and then topped the loaf with marinara during the last 15 minutes or so of baking time. (My meatloaf did not fall apart and I think that small step helped - and let it cool the 10 minutes before cutting as directed.) This recipe makes a large meatloaf, and I'd sure serve it to company with some nice Italian side dishes and a good Merlot. THANK YOU, Heather & David for this great recipe!