Spaghetti with Meatloaf and Roasted Tomatoes
When it is 26C outside and the sun in shining you feel like diving into the kitchen to make meatloaf don't you:D I am sure that breaking out the barbecue is more your speed and I must admit it is usually mine. The thing is I had planned on making the dish you will find on these pages for days and had everything ready to go.
Yesterday I oven-roasted the tomatoes to intensify the summery flavours of the "harder than rock" tomatoes we find in the market these days. Of course we are teased by some of the most delicious hothouse tomatoes, as well as the campari's we have available all year round, but they come with a hefty price tag. This recipe called for 2 pounds of tomatoes so I compromised with the little unripened bullets which required roasting to caramelize and intensify their flavours. This recipe is perfect for when tomatoes are out of season and you don't want to use canned. Yesterday I also sauteed the vegetables and added them to the meatloaf to save time for today.
I listened to the weatherman who told me it was going to rain and go down to a chilling 13C. Should I listen to the weatherman you're asking? I think your right. As I walked this afternoon in the 26C sunshine I contemplated on firing up the barbecue. I could have frozen the uncooked meatloaf and set aside the oven-roasted tomatoes. The thing is we are in those in between days when it alternates between short sleeve days and sweater days. The hot warm sun with little children at the beach with shovel and pails in hand was not going to deter me from having my last comfort food of the season!!!! It was supposed to be rainy and cold so I was going to make comfort food even if it killed me.
To me there is nothing more comforting than meatloaf and pasta (think macaroni and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs), although I will admit I had never combined the two until now. I see it as an easy way to have spaghetti and meatballs without all the fuss. I received a newsletter from EdibleVancouver and Debbra Mikaelsen and was bent on recreating her Spaghetti with Meatloaf and Roasted Tomatoes . This meatloaf is made with pork, and has a deep, subtle sweet flavour from a hint of maple syrup, as well as a little spice thanks to fennel seed and chili flakes. I don't have fennel seeds in my cupboard but I am sure they would add another dimension to this loaf. Meatloaf could be the ultimate comfort food and is perfect for those dark, drizzly days...that may still come as predicted. Slow-roasted tomatoes go on top to keep it moist, and to coat the hot pasta. Believe me this dish is worth every effort!!!!
I am sending this recipe over to Ruth at Once Upon a Feast the "pasta queen" for her popular event. I try and join in on the fun whenever I have pasta over at Presto Pasta Nights. There are so many pasta shapes and possibilities that I could easily have pasta every day of the year. My cupboards are always full of pasta in many shapes and sizes. It is too hard to resist at our local Italian grocers. I want to have pasta every day of the year!!!! Presto Pasta Nights event has been the baby of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast for over 3 glorious years. Whenever we feel the urge for some pasta we can go over to her site and have 3 years of entries from all over the world to choose from from pasta salad to lasagna to Pho. This week this popular event is being hosted by Cynthia from Kitchen Slave.
Sink your teeth into some hearty pasta ladies and gents before the much anticipated summer months take over...
**Spaghetti with Meatloaf and Roasted Tomatoes**
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 shallot, peeled and chopped finely
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 large carrot, diced
4 sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
½ cup oats
½ cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1lb ground pork
½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
about 2 lbs tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
Put tomatoes in a shallow baking pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary, and slow roast at 250 F for about 3 hours. (You can do this step the day before and store the roasted tomatoes in a jar in the fridge. If you do, just warm them up by putting them back in a pan and into the oven during the meatloaf's last half hour of cooking. It's also fine for them to finish their roasting at the meatloaf's higher temperature if you choose to do everything on the same day.)
To make the meatloaf, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet. And add onion and shallot, cooking 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add fennel seeds, chili flakes and diced carrot and cook a few minutes more. Add the sundried tomato pieces.
While the onion mixture is cooking, put the oats in a small bowl, pour red wine over them and let them soak a few minutes. (This sounded weird to me. Oats with red wine. Does it sound weird to you? I’d done some reading about oats used in meatloaf and wanted to try it. Most people soak them in milk but I liked the idea of using wine instead. They accomplish the same thing as breadcrumbs do, basically acting as a filler. The result was absolutely delicious.) Add the maple syrup and stir.
Put the pork n a large bowl. Add the onion-carrot mixture, the oat-wine mixture, the egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt and a bit of fresh ground pepper. Mix well.
Pack into a lightly oiled loaf pan and bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes. Then remove from oven, cover the surface with a few of the roasted tomatoes (mashed with a fork), and continue baking another 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and let sit for a few minutes before inverting from the pan and slicing.
Mix 1 lb of hot, drained pasta with the rest of the hot, roasted tomatoes. Toss well. Pour into a serving dish with slices of the meatloaf arranged on top. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
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