How's about a little tweak for Valentine's Day? Polpettone, which sounds very glamorous indeed, is Italian for meatloaf and I have to say, in the light of the crazy blizzard around here, you may want to consider losing your plans to sally forth to some overcrowded, overpriced restaurant and instead, wire up this baby for tonight.
Now I do know that this photograph is not, well, perhaps my best or most inspiring. If it's any kind of recommendation, however, please know that the polpettone was very picturesque, just moments before this when it came out of the oven. Before I could so much as grab my camera, the hungry maniacs around here had torn into it and this is all that I could salvage for a photograph. In fact, it was such a hit, I was grateful even to have snagged this rather pathetic shot. That funny gooey thing poking out from the middle is the salami/smoked mozzarella with which it's stuffed. I know. Completely over-the-top. But "what th'?" as Mark Trail would say. It's only Valentine's Day once a year, so why not give him something to make those statins worth it.
Now, I have to say that my normal meatloaf, which I recounted here in November 2010 is pretty darn good. In fact, I continue to get reader response about it all of the time, and people have literally stopped me in the street to opine on how great it is. It's easy as can be, delicious and, while not fancy, for some reason the only thing Felix ever wants to be his welcome home dinner when he arrives back from college. High praise indeed I would say, because there's no telling what fancy-schmancy stuff that kid could be looking for on those rare occasions when his old '83 diesel wends its way back from Williamsburg.
Now the original recipe for polpettone comes from my friend, Silvestro Silvestori, at the Awaiting Table cooking school in Lecce in Puglia, Italy. We made it when I was there in November and it was superb. That being said, I've added and subtracted some things from Silvestro's recipe to make it, well, my own. I guess it's more Italian-American now, and I do hope Silvestro won't take offence as I'm headed back there in September and perhaps we'll even make it then.
In any case, I made this using a batch of my own meatloaf, the recipe for which you can find in the index on the right of my blog, or very easily by googling: "ClareFare meatloaf" , when it will pop up instantaneously.
Should you decide to make it, I promise it will look prettier when it emerges from the oven. No matter how it looks, however, please be prepared, for your Valentine to take his first bite. He may swoon, but when he picks himself up off the floor, he will definitely proclaim you to the very best Valentine in the world.
But really, there's no need to send me flowers. Just have a very happy Valentine's Day, with lots of love from Clare's Kitchen.
I batch of my meatloaf mix
3/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
3/4 pound smoked mozzarella, chopped into 1-inch dice
Prepare the meatloaf as directed in the previous post. Place half of the meat mixture in the baking pan. Pat into a loaf-like shape and make a trough in the middle. Line the trough with 1/2 of the Genoa salami, cover with the smoked mozzarella, and then top with the rest of the Genoa salami making it into a sort of smoked mozzarella filled envelope. Pat the remaining meat mixture over the top and seal in the filling, retaining the loaf-like shape.
Bake as directed in the previous posting.
--Adapted from a recipe by Silvestro Silvestori