Inspired by the flavors of Italian Wedding Soup, these personal-sized meatloaves are a fun twist on classic comfort food. Lean ground pork stands in for half of the beef, cutting down saturated fat and providing a lighter texture.
To keep these meatloaves from getting too dense, gently fold the ingredients together with your hands, and avoid over mixing. Serve these with your favorite mashed potatoes one night, with a lemony white bean salad the next night, then finish them off by piling the leftovers into whole-wheat hoagies for knockout meatloaf subs.
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 white bread slices, crusts removed
1 pound lean ground pork
1 pound ground sirloin
2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add spinach to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer spinach to a bowl. Pulse bread slices in bowl of a food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds. Set aside.
Combine pork, sirloin, reserved breadcrumbs, pecorino Romano, Parmesan, eggs, garlic, parsley, milk, black pepper, red pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt in a large bowl. Wrap cooked spinach in paper towels, and squeeze out excess liquid; finely chop. Add chopped spinach to meat mixture. Gently combine with hands or a fork until incorporated, but not overworked.
Form 9 miniature loaves (about 4 ounces each) from meat mixture, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 155°F, 30 to 35 minutes. (Temperature will rise to 160°F while resting).
Meanwhile, combine marinara sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, brush meatloaves with marinara mixture every few minutes until meatloaves are cooked through and sauce is thick and sticky, about 3 times. Remove from oven, and serve immediately or store in refrigerator up to 3 days.
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