We would usually cut the ground sirloin with ground chicken or turkey in a recipe like this to make it a little lighter, but we had just the right amount of beef already in the freezer. While the marinara sauce and onions add flavor, they also keep this loaf moist, with Italian breadcrumbs and an egg acting as the binder to hold it together. Fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a variety of herbs are also tossed in to season the mixture. When you go to combine all of the ingredients, I like to mix everything together first, except the beef, and then gently fold in the ground meat so there is less of a chance to overwork the mixture. The original directions call for forming the loaf free-form on a broiler pan, however I have found it is easier to first line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and then gently press the meat in. I then use the plastic wrap to lift the formed loaf out and turn it onto the broiler pan - I just find it helps hold its shape better and is a little less messy. Before it goes into the oven, the meat loaf gets a generous coating of the marinara sauce on top. Lots of flavor and quite moist, this loaf was easy to slice and did not fall apart at all when we served it. And my earlier remark about the leftovers and this dish? Easy... We need to make sure to have enough so we can make meat loaf sandwiches for lunch tomorrow! Woo!
Italian-Style Meat Loaf