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To make prosciutto cotto ham meatloaf, you only need three ingredients and a bowl.

This recipe holds a special place in the heart of Bolognese home kitchens. Since my mother-in-law shared it with me, I’ve loved preparing it for lunch with friends and family gatherings.

First, it is easy to make, it always comes out well, everyone (adults and children) likes it, and finally, you can cook it in advance.

It is one of those dishes that, like authentic spaghetti Bolognese, you can try at home but won’t find at a restaurant. This is the time to share the recipe with you, too.

Prosciutto cotto ham meatloaf

This meatloaf has a flavor reminiscent of certain Bolognese galantine and rifreddi, two typical meat recipes of Bologna.

It is firm but soft when cut, moist, and flavorful when tasted.

The recipe is interesting. It is gluten and lactose-free (you know, Parmigiano is usually included in the diets of dairy-intolerant people as well), and it requires only three ingredients, which you only have to mix together. In the end, has a long but easy cooking time.

You can consume it cold with mayonnaise and a seasonal salad, a homemade Russian salad, or warm with baked potatoes, puré, or green beans seasoned with butter and Parmigiano. Or maybe with a dish of friggione.

Sliced, it also looks great in the picnic basket or between two slices of bread.

It is a second course that you can serve at an event or Sunday lunch.

Occasionally, I introduce flavor variations, such as a handful of chopped parsley or grated lemon zest.


Italian cooked ham loaf recipe

About Italian meatloaf, rifreddo and galantina 

Rifreddo and galantina are typical preparations of northern and central Italy, and they were born in Renaissance times. Those dishes were perfect for preserving for a long time, which made them ideal in an era when preserving meat presented a problem.

Historically, the term rifreddo referred to a cold dish that appeared at the table after the main course but before dessert (and the same was true for galantines).

Rifreddi and galantine are now obsolete preparations even though they still have a great tradition in Bologna.

Another common feature of these recipes is that cooking may involve soaking the dish in a liquid (broth or water).

Meatloaf also has a texture that can recall the consistency and cooking of certain rifreddi and galantine. But it has a peculiarity. Unlike the other two, meatloaf, a recipe with Italian origins, is a mixture that is always prepared with ground ingredients and has a close kinship with meatballs that the other two do not.

In contrast, rifreddi and galantine sometimes show thin slices of overlapping meat. Sometimes, the recipe calls for some mince wrapped into a piece of meat.

In Emilia-Romagna, particularly in Bologna, rifreddi and galantine have a well-established tradition. And also of meatloaf.

Buona cucina, Monica

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Prosciutto cotto ham meatloaf recipe


Prosciutto cotto ham meatloaf recipe

Prosciutto cotto ham meatloaf

Prosciutto cotto ham meatloaf is a gluten-free Bolognese recipe from home cooking. Three ingredients for a dish that everyone will love.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bolognese
Keyword Prosciutto cotto ham meatloaf
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 300 g of prosciutto cotto (cooked ham, no spicy)
  • 3 regular eggs
  • 300 g of grated Parmigiano cheese
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon or a handful of chopped parsley optional


  • Finely mince the cooked ham in the blender and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs before adding Parmigiano and ground ham.
  • Mix with a fork and then knead with your hands until soft and well mixed.
  • Let rest in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  • Lay the dough on a sheet of baking paper and shape it into a meatloaf with your hands.
  • Wrap in baking paper by folding the paper flaps under the roll. Then, wrap it in aluminum foil.
  • Place the wrapped meatloaf in a pan, cover with warm water, and cook on the stove over medium heat and a half-covered pan for 45 minutes. If the package floats, turn it over halfway through cooking.
  • Turn off and let the patty cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
  • Then, gently remove the roll from the water with both hands and lay it on a plate. It is still soft at this stage.
  • Discard the paper wrapping, cover the plate, and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight or several hours before slicing.
  • If you want to serve it warm, heat the meatloaf in a covered baking dish in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for about 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes before serving.
  • After baking, store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to two months.

4 servings

  • 200 g of prosciutto cotto ham+2 eggs+200g of grated Parmigiano

Italian cooked ham loaf recipe

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