This really could be called a three cheese meatloaf having ricotta, mozzarella and Parmigiano, however, the ricotta is such a key ingredient to this meatloaf’s texture and flavor that it deserves the starring role in the title.
It is important to use fresh ricotta for this recipe. Thanks to John, From the Bartolini Kitchen, for his homemade ricotta recipe, I am now making my own ricotta! I will be honest though, I did make a slight change in that I….gasp!…. microwave the mixture! Less chance of scorching, bubbling over and it’s pretty much done in a matter of minutes with no saucepan to scrub clean. Either way, stove top or microwave, freshly made ricotta tops any store-bought variety.
Of course, pre John, I bought my ricotta from my Italian market or a quality grocer, so you do not need to make your own. Just make sure it says fresh ricotta on the label. If the ricotta has a lot of moisture, drain it for about 1 hour in a paper lined strainer.
If I’m not serving to guests, I like to make two instead of one large. I still have leftovers and everyone loves leftover meatloaf! Just how I like my meatballs with a dab of ricotta, this is exactly how I love to serve this Italian style meatloaf. I also enjoy fresh ricotta with just a sprinkling of sea salt, herbs and a drizzle of good olive oil!!
adapted from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
3 large eggs, beaten well
1 cup fresh ricotta
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Marinara Sauce and Ricotta Cheese for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet with slipat or parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the ground sirloin and ground pork. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add the ricotta mixture to the sirloin/pork and gently mix together until well combined.
Shape into one large meatloaf or divide into two. Bake for about 50 minutes if divided into two or 1 hr 15 minutes for one large meatloaf. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce and ricotta cheese on the side. Makes 6-8 servings.