An Umbria Polpettone as a COVID-19 Diversion
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.
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