Italian Sausage Meatloaf

by Rachel Schaffer

Meatloaf is a hearty traditional dinner dish. We have a spin on this traditional recipe. We’ve substituted Italian sausage for the beef. It’s distinct flavor brings this recipe up a notch. We suggest serving it over rotini pasta. But, for a more traditional southern dish, you can serve fried okra, garlic mashed potatoes and cornbread as a side. The addition of prosciutto or bacon plays well off of the flavor of the Italian sausage. Julia Child famously said “fat gives things flavor”. And there’s nothing more flavorful than Italian sausage!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 3 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces prosciutto or bacon
  • 2 pounds Uncle John’s Pride cooked Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 additional pinches of salt
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 8 servings rotini pasta

Directions:

  1. You can make marinara sauce from scratch, but we recommend purchasing it. Our favorite brand is Newman’s Own. You will need to set up a 2-zone fire on your grill. Heat your grill so the medium zone is 350 degrees. Once back inside in your kitchen, lay down aluminum foil on your workspace. It will need to be at least 12′ x 16”.
  2. Because the sausage is in links, the first step is to remove the casing. Slit the Italian sausage from end to end using a knife. Peel off the casings and discard them. Take all of the inner meat and form into a large ball. Lay this ball in the center of the aluminum foil and flatten it with your hands. It should flatten to about 1/2” thick, and there should be about 1” extra space on the aluminum foil all the way around.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the peppers, onion, oregano, salt and pepper. This is going to become the stuffing in the meatloaf. Layer these ingredients on the middle of the flattened meat. Leave space around the edges, about 1′. Next, put the mozzarella cheese on top of the stuffing. We recommend not trying to stuff too much into the meatloaf. You will need only about half of the stuffing. Set the rest of the vegetables aside.
  4. Lift one edge of the foil and roll the Italian sausage around the stuffing. It will make a loaf. Squeeze the foil at the top to fuse together the edges. Then, pull back on the foil and form the meatloaf with your fingers. It should be cylindrical and snugly sealed. Pat it down so its an even thickness. Lay the pieces of bacon or prosciutto on top of the loaf, giving each piece a little space so they aren’t touching. Tuck any loose ends under the meatloaf.
  5. Add wood chips to your heat source and place the meatloaf on the grill. It should still be in the center of the aluminum foil. Set it seam side down in the medium heat zone. Cook the meatloaf for 45 – 60 minutes. You will need to check the internal temperature of the meat. It should be 160 degrees when done.
  6. In the meantime, heat a frying pan and oil over medium high heat. When the oil gets hot, add the rest of the onions and bell peppers. Saute these for about 10 minutes until they are soft. Tun the heat to low and add the marinara sauce. Keep everything below a boil, and be sure to stir.
  7. When you meatloaf is done, bring it inside and slice it between the bacon strips. Add the vegetables and marinara sauce to the top before serving.

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