Italian Meatloaf with Cauliflower & Fregola Sarda Pasta

Italian Meatloaf

with Cauliflower & Fregola Sarda Pasta

50 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s meatloaf gets an Italian twist from two ingredients: sweet golden raisins and tomato sauce. We’re mixing both into the loaf, and spreading more sauce on top before baking. For a satisfying side, we’re tossing fregola sarda—a toasted semolina pasta­—with seasonal cauliflower, which offers a similar toasty flavor. (Chefs, depending on what’s freshest near you, your cauliflower may be white, green, orange or purple.)

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Cut out and discard the core of the cauliflower; roughly chop.

Make the sauce & start the meatloaf:
2 Make the sauce & start the meatloaf:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer ½ cup of the sauce to a large bowl. Add the ground beef, breadcrumbs, raisins, eggs, remaining garlic and half the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine.

Form & bake the meatloaf:
3 Form & bake the meatloaf:

Place a large piece of foil (or parchment paper) on a sheet pan. Place the ground beef mixture in the center of the foil. Gently roll and shape the mixture with the foil until it forms a tightly packed loaf, about 10 inches by 3 inches; flatten the foil to line the pan. Top the loaf with the remaining sauce. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Cook the pasta:
4 Cook the pasta:

Once the meatloaf has baked for about 10 minutes, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

Cook the cauliflower & finish the pasta:
5 Cook the cauliflower & finish the pasta:

While the pasta cooks, rinse and wipe out the pan used to make the sauce. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cauliflower; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Stir in the cooked pasta, cheese, butter and remaining parsley until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish & serve your dish:
6 Finish & serve your dish:

Remove the baked meatloaf from the oven and let rest for at least 2 minutes. Transfer the finished pasta to a serving dish. Cut the rested meatloaf crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces and transfer to a separate serving dish. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Cut out and discard the core of the cauliflower; roughly chop.

2 Make the sauce & start the meatloaf:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer ½ cup of the sauce to a large bowl. Add the ground beef, breadcrumbs, raisins, eggs, remaining garlic and half the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine.

Make the sauce & start the meatloaf:
3 Form & bake the meatloaf:

Place a large piece of foil (or parchment paper) on a sheet pan. Place the ground beef mixture in the center of the foil. Gently roll and shape the mixture with the foil until it forms a tightly packed loaf, about 10 inches by 3 inches; flatten the foil to line the pan. Top the loaf with the remaining sauce. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.

4 Cook the pasta:

Once the meatloaf has baked for about 10 minutes, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

Cook the pasta:
Cook the cauliflower & finish the pasta:
5 Cook the cauliflower & finish the pasta:

While the pasta cooks, rinse and wipe out the pan used to make the sauce. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cauliflower; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Stir in the cooked pasta, cheese, butter and remaining parsley until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Finish & serve your dish:

Remove the baked meatloaf from the oven and let rest for at least 2 minutes. Transfer the finished pasta to a serving dish. Cut the rested meatloaf crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces and transfer to a separate serving dish. Enjoy!

Finish & serve your dish:
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