In the heart of Italy, Tuscans accompany meats with lashings of fresh herbs and vibrant vegetables.
I’ve taken these flavours and made a lamb meatloaf packed with these delicious flavours. Traditionally lamb is not on the table of Italian dining, however we always favour lamb over beef or pork in our household, so chose to use it again for this recipe. The trick is to take super fresh minced lamb with a good amount of fat speckled throughout. You don’t want lean mince or else the loaf will be dry.
If you prefer to swap it out, you can use any type of meat mince, (except turkey because that will be just too lean). Want it gamey? Try making it with venison. You could also use a sausage mince instead … chorizo mince would be very tasty! So many choices …
– 4 tablespoons plus ¼ cup olive oil
– 400g baby spinach
– 1/3 cup green peas
– 1 kg lamb mince – we used lamb shoulder and minced it ourselves
– 1 large finely diced onion
– 6 garlic cloves minced
– Small bunch chopped fresh rosemary (or 4 tbsp)
– Small bunch fresh thyme (or 4 tbsp)
– 1 cup chopped parsley
– 1 egg
– ½ cup almond meal
– Spray oil
– freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pour 2 tbsp olive oil into a large saucepan, and when heated add the spinach. Gently fry until all the spinach wilts and the water evaporates. You may need to add the spinach a bit at a time, stirring occasionally, to allow it to shrink and give space for more spinach.
- Take off the heat and let cool.
- Pour the other 2 tbsp olive oil into the frying pan, heat, and then add the diced onion, minced garlic, rosemary and thyme. Sauté until the onions turn a golden brown stirring occasionally.
- Add the spinach and peas into the frying pan and heat through while stirring to infuse the flavours into the vegetables.
- Remove 2/3 of the mix into a large mixing bowl and set aside the remaining mix.
- Spray a 30cm loaf pan with oil and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 180oc.
- In the mixing bowl, add the lamb mince, parsley, remaining olive oil, pepper, egg and almond meal. With your hands (you might like to wear a glove) knead the mixture for 1-2 minutes.
- Take a bit over half the meat mixture and press into the loaf pan, making a deep well into the meat for the vegetable mix to sit into. Add the vegetable mix and flatten out well. Top the loaf with the remaining meat mixture, ensuring that there are no gaps around the edges.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
We recommend serving it with the Tuscan Baked Vegetables which will be out in the next week. Yummo!