Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Loafing Around

Polpettina Ripiena con Scamorza Affumicata, Fagioli e Peperone
Stuffed Miniature Meatloaf with String Beans, Peppers and Smoked Scamorza Cheese Filling

It had been a stressful day again, but I had really worked hard and although I was tired-out, I was feeling good about what I had managed to achieve. Yes- those days DO happen! So to celebrate the fact, I thought I would treat myself to a little comfort food and have a nice, relaxed evening and enjoy a little...

I reckon the most popular of all comfort-food dishes has got to be meatloaf. It is simply a good thing to eat- period. I decided to try a stuffed version this evening, with a filling of smokey Scamorza cheese, beans and chopped peppers and on a bed of tomato and pepper sauce... and what could be more comforting than that?

The meat was a mix of beef and pork and basically, just enough for 2 regular sized hamburgers. I added an egg and 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of grated salted ricotta cheese, some mint, fresh thyme, oregano, finely chopped parsley, I finely sliced Spring onion, salt, pepper and of course a little ketchup! Yes indeed- you know it has to go in there!

In the meantime I steamed a handful of string beans for 5 minutes and then drained and rinsed them in cold water to cool them off. Whilst they were cooking, I finely chopped a red pepper and mixed half of it together with a tablespoon of Ajvar- this would also be a part of the filling.

So now it was time to put this together!

I separated the prepared ground meat into 2 equal parts and formed them into an oblong shape. I then laid the green beans out equally onto the meat and pressed them in. Next, I placed slices of the smoked scamorza on top and then the chopped pepper and Ajvar mix on top of that. And then, you guessed it, I laid the other half of the ground meat on top and pressed it firmly into shape... pretty easy actually!

I browned it off on all 4 sides in a dry, non-stick frying pan first and then finished it in a pre heated oven for a further 20 minutes or so. Which gave me enough time to prepare the tomato/pepper sauce to go with it!

For the sauce, I sauteed the finely diced peppers with a little chopped onion garlic and thyme, added a pinch of sugar and then a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. I added a hint of cinnamon and a little cayenne, salt to taste and returned it to a low simmer for the rest of the cooking time.

So there you have it- a simple little dish that is as pretty as a picture and as easy as pie to make... even though it is for all extents and purposes indeed a loaf!

Make yourself comfortable and enjoy!

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