Recipe by Heather3271
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."
Top Review by michellemo87
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 )
- 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)
Directions See How It's Made
- 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.