Baked Stuffed Meatloaf, An Italian Traditional Dish

Polpettone calls for an authentic, Italian, old traditional dish.

And below I’m going to share a version of meatloaf stuffed with apples and dried fruit.

Baked Stuffed Meatloaf, An Italian Traditional Dish

History of a recipe.

This is a true traditional Italian dish, specifically from the North of Italy.
There is no mention of this recipe in older French cookbooks.

Even more, the first to include a meatloaf recipe in a cookbook was Bartolomeo Scappi (1570), the cook of the Popes.

It’s quite easy suppose a common origin with Italian polpette. If polpette are meatballs and polpettine is clearly a diminutive of this term, it follows that polpettone was a large polpetta version.

A meatloaf is made primarily of ground meat mixed with binders such as eggs, bread crumbs, spices and dried fruits.

We have to wait until the end of the 18th century before there is a real updating of meatloaf recipes, which had not changed significantly since Scappi’s time. It was at that time that the spices were replaced by other ingredients and the taste begins to became less Renaissance and more contemporary. Since then numerous variations of meatloaf became common like stuffed and vegetarian meatloafs.

Winter recipe for a meatloaf that is also good for holidays.

Meatloaf is a guarantee of goodness and versatility.
It can be baked in the oven or cooked in the pan; it’s easy to make and cheap. I also find it has a certain elegance.

Meatloaf is a recipe for every season. In winter I suggest serving it warm, in summer cut it into slices and serve with mayonnaise sauce aside. And always with a seasonal side.

The meatloaf I am sharing in this post is wintery and, I think, also suitable for the festive table or Sunday lunch.

Boiled spinach mixed with minced meat keeps the meat softer during cooking.
The filling of apples, raisins, chopped walnuts and pistachios calls for winter and Christmas.

To know that I’ll eat meatloaf, make me happy every time it happens. Maybe because it’s
a dish that makes me think of family dinners, relaxed and cheerful.

Buona cucina, Monica

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Baked Stuffed Meatloaf, An Italian Traditional Dish

Food Tip

I served the meatloaf with a pan of carrots glazed with honey and thyme and baked in the oven. To enhance the color contrast I combined orange and purple carrots.

A different “meatloaf” recipe:

Meatloaf “alla Genovese”: A Vegetarian Recipe

Baked Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe

serves 6

ground meat, 700g (made of 300g cooked ham, 200g pork, 200g veal)
300 g spinach, blanched and well squeezed
3 slices of toast bread, roughly chopped in a blender
eggs, 3
grated parmigiano reggiano, 50g
salt to taste

2 red apples + juice of 1 lemon
2 slices of toast bread
20 g sultanas previously soaked in water
50 g chopped pistachios
50 g chopped walnuts


Ask to your butcher to make the ground meat.

Once home, in a bowl mix mince, eggs, spinach, crumbled bread, parmigiano and salt. Knead to combine all the ingredients. Set aside for a moment.

Prepare the filling.
Peel the apples, remove the cores and cut in little piece. Place in a bowl and drizzle with the juice of one lemon. Mix with crumbled bread, raisins after draining, walnuts and pistachios already coarsely chopped. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Place the mince on a sheet of baking paper, shape the dough like a salami, carve in the middle to make space for the filling along its entire length.

Put the filling in the middle of the loaf then close the meatloaf in on itself. With hands, close both cylinder’s extremities. The filling have to be well closed inside.

Bake in preheated oven (180C degrees) for 40 to minutes.
Before to cut into slices, let rest for 20 minutes.


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