Italian Meat Loaf

This is an Italian Meat Loaf that my great-grandmother enjoyed. It is not much like the meat loaf I make, but it is quite good. The rye bread and Parmesan add a nice touch. Note the unusual way the bread is used–not as breadcrumbs exactly. I love the note about the oregano–exotic herb it was in the American south at the time. ;-)

Italian Meat Loaf

2 slices rye bread
2 slices white bread
1 lb ground beef
4 sprigs parsley
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon oregano*

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a shallow baking pan.

Put both kinds of bread in a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 cup water over the bread and let the slices soak for several minutes. At this point mash the bread very fine with a fork.
Dump the meat in with the bread and add finely chopped onion, chopped parsley, grated cheese, slightly beaten egg, salt, pepper. Mix together with clean hands, put mixture into baking pan and shape into a loaf. Put dots of margarine or butter over the top and bake 30 minutes. Pour tomato sauce over the meat. Sprinkle with oregano. (learn to use this good herb–it makes food taste the way good Italian restaurant food tastes) and bake 20 minutes longer. Serves 4-6 generously.

Original source and date unknown. From my great-grandmother’s recipe box.