This is a recipe that helps explain the Twitter-era term "humblebrag." I made it for the celebrated writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron after a different recipe resulted in a disaster and I had to discard the result with only a few hours before my dinner with -- did I mention? -- Nora Ephron. It derives from a meatball dish once cooked by the chef Mark Ladner at the restaurant Lupa in Manhattan, and published as a recipe in Details magazine in the early years of the century. I scaled it up over the years, increasing some spices here and there, lessening others, until I had what I thought to be a pretty terrific meatloaf. But don't take my word for it. “This is remarkable,” Ms. Ephron told me. I'm bragging about it still.
Featured in: Potlucky.
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs of any provenance
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 pound sweet Italian pork sausage, casing removed, crumbled
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, seeds removed
- 1 cup red wine
- ¼ bunch mint
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine 2/3 of the garlic, the rosemary, pepper flakes, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Add the milk and mix. Add the turkey and sausage and mix once more to combine; don’t overmix. Transfer onto a board and shape into a fine meatloaf, about 9 inches long and 4 inches wide.
- Place in a baking pan with high sides (a 9 x12 pan with 2-inch sides works well), drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway through to brown evenly. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, fry the bacon in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until it starts to curl and its fat is rendered. Add the onions and remaining garlic, cooking until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil.
- Pour the sauce over the meatloaf, cover tightly with foil and bake until a meat thermometer inserted at the center reads 150 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer the meatloaf to a platter and let stand, tented with foil, for 10 minutes. Cut into thick slices, spoon tomato sauce over the top and scatter with torn mint leaves.