Tuscan-Style Meat Loaf

This Tuscan-style meat loaf is comfort food. You brown two miniature meat loaves in a skillet and then simmer them in a white bean stew. Cooking the meat loaves in a tomato-flavored bean stew keeps them especially moist and stretches a pound of ground beef to make 4 generous servings.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1/2 pound dry cannellini beans

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil, divided

1/2 cup white wine, divided

4 medium ripe tomatoes

2 quarts water

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound ground beef

2 eggs

2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried sage

2 sprigs thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup chicken or beef stock

  1. Soak the cannellini beans in cold water overnight and then drain them.

  2. Chop the onion.

  3. Peel and chop the garlic cloves

  4. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

  5. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.

  6. Chop the tomatoes.

  7. Add 1/4 cup wine, the tomatoes, beans, water, and salt and pepper.

  8. Simmer until the beans are tender but still firm, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  9. Chop the parsley, sage, and thyme.

    If you use dried herbs, you don’t need to chop them.

  10. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, flour, bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, 2 teaspoons fresh sage, thyme, and salt and pepper.

  11. With your hands, work the ingredients together to form 2 equal-sized loaves.

  12. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.

    If you’re using a nonstick skillet, you can use less oil.

  13. Brown the meat loaves on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

  14. Drain the fat from the pan.

  15. Add the remaining 1/4 cup wine and let it reduce for several minutes.

  16. Add the stock and let it cook for 15 minutes.

  17. Add the meat loaves to the beans and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

  18. Slice the meat and serve with the beans.

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