Meatloaf with Ricotta

Drain the ricotta in a strainer for at least an hour

9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish

Meatloaf with Ricotta

Servings: 8 or more.


  • 1 Cup / Milk
  • 3 Cups / Day-old bread cubes, from a loaf of country bread
  • 3 lbs / Ground Beef
  • 3 Large / Eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 1 lbs / drained fresh ricotta (about 2 cups) plus more for the sauce if you like
  • 1 bunch / scallions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup / Grana Padano
  • 1/4 cup / chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon / freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon / kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lbs / fresh mozzarella, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup / extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cups / Tomato Sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 375/400 degrees.
  2. Pour the milk over the bread cubes in a bowl, and let soak for a few minutes, until the bread is saturated. Squeeze the soft bread a handful at a time, pressing out as much milk as you can (discard the milk).
  3. Tear the bread into small shreds and toss back into the empty bowl. Crumble the ground beef into the bowl, and add the eggs, ricotta, scallions, grated cheese, parsley, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Fold and toss everything together, and squeeze the mixture a few times between your fingers to distribute all the ingredients evenly. Scatter the mozzarella cubes on top, and fold and mush them throughout the loaf mix.
  4. Brush the roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Gather the meat mixture in the bowl, turn it into the pan, and shape it into a fat bread shaped loaf as it will settle and spread when it cooks. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover the pan with foil—tent it so it doesn’t touch the meat—and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake until the meatloaf is browned all over and completely cooked through.
  5. Note - Start checking temperature with an instant read thermometer after about an one additional hour; you’re looking for 160 degrees as a finish temperature. If the loaf needs more time, check temp every 10 minutes until done. Remove the roast from the oven, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Note: I’m a big proponent of “day-a-head” cooking and this is a perfect candidate for it. Let the loaf fully cool on the stove top or a wire rack, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight, OK have a nice bite first so you can compare day to day flavors. I think you’ll see what I’m talking about. Heat the tomato sauce to a simmer in a saucepan as the meat rests. Turn off the heat, and stir 1/2 cup or so fresh ricotta into the sauce, check for salt and maybe some Parmesan. Slice the loaf crosswise in the pan or on a cutting board, as thick as you like. Serve on warm dinner plates, topped with a spoonful or two of sauce, and pass more sauce at the table (or, for family-style serving, arrange the slices on a warm platter, topped with some of the sauce).