Anne's Blog

An Umbria Polpettone as a COVID-19 Diversion

Date: April 18, 2020 - categories: , , - Leave your thoughts

Just over a month into Italy’s coronavirus lockdown, cooking and then sharing the goodness still team as a perfect coronavirus diversion, a way to ward off even a hint of a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack).

These days, dishes often depend on what happens to be on hand.

Like today’s polpettone (“meatloaf”). Pino had bought us about a pound of ground beef yesterday during the weekly grocery shop.

I decided to mix the meat with other ingredients I had on hand: a carrot, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, milk, olive oil, tomato sauce, a couple eggs, an onion, grated nutmeg, fresh parsley….

….and fresh thyme, too.

I started by dicing the carrot and celery, then sliding the thyme leaves off the stalks:

I added the diced vegetables and thyme to the ground beef:

As Pino had also asked for a few slices of mortadella when shopping, our grocer had also given him the heel of the mortadella as the huge cold cut was at its end.

I sliced off the exterior skin….

and cut the mortadella into small pieces to add to our meatloaf:

I broke in two eggs and then added grated nutmeg, salt and pepper (all three ingredients, q. b., i.e., “quanto basta” or “as much as you need”):

After amalgamating the ingredients with my hands, i added dried bread crumbs, q.b…..

….and then grated Parmesan, q.b.:

I drizzled in our olive oil . q. b.(and please use ONLY extra-virgin olive oil for this polpettone)

…..and then mixed all the ingredients.

I added milk, q. b., both to tenderize the ground beef and also to moisten all the ingredients:

Tomato sauce joined in as well (perhaps about 3/4 c?):

I decided to skip the fresh parsley and added more thyme before folding the mixture into a baking pan (lined with waxed paper).


I baked the polpettone about 30 minutes at 350°F. As we had half a mozzarella in our fridge, I sliced it and topped the meatloaf with the mozzarella for the last 5 minutes or so of baking:

We’d already had pasta as our primo (first course), but Pino was ready to try that polpettone…..

……my coronavirus-diversion project for this morning.

Read about a tasty Pino recipe as a coronavirus distraction

Click here to read about – and see!- our Easter Monday picnic during lockdown

Click here for the recipe for a tasty pasta dish – and ours on Good Friday during COVID-19

Cook away a possible CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack) with this simple recipe for a buonissima pasta dish

Read here about culling the wool of our cashmere goats – a perfect coronavirus distraction

Read here about Pino’s goat cheese

Read here about newborn kids as a coronavirus distraction for us

Read about Assisi acquaintances now producing protective masks, rather than high-end cashmere.

Read here about a snowy day in Umbria during our coronavirus lockdown

Click here for an easy, tasty recipe

Click here for another easy recipe to ward off CPA

Click here for a recipe of Pino’s mamma, Signora Vincenza (also helps ward off CPA)

Click here  for another “coronavirus lockdown” recipe

Read here about an outdoor market visit to ward off a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack)

Click here to read about Novella’s vegetable stand during the coronavirus lockdown

Read about how reflecting on Van Gogh helped me see the beauty all around – in simple, insignificant objects

Click here to read about – and see! – a favorite Orvieto eating spot (to ward off CPA)

Read about – and see! – Assisi during coronavirus lockdown

Read about a Pino feast on March 8th as coronavirus distraction 

Click here to read about March 8th – as a coronavirus antidote

Peppa is always perfect distraction from a CPA

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