Today I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes. This is a meatloaf that has tiny pasta shells scattered through it. The shells make the pattern like the bits of liver or pistachio nuts you normally find in a French pate. I do not eat anything with liver in it, perhaps that is why I am not a fan of pate. If you cant find the small pasta shells, you could use any small granular shaped pasta such as tubetti. It is a perfect dish to take on a picnic and slice as is, or eat as a sandwich. Also I find that if you make your meatloaf freeform instead of in a loaf pan, you get a firmer texture for slicing and lots of that outer crispy and delicious crust.
American Pate aka Meatloaf
- 4 ounces small pasta shells;
- 3 tablespoons olive oil;
- 1 medium yellow onion minced;
- 1/2 cup minced bell pepper minced;
- 2 garlic cloves minced;
- 1/3 cup barbecue sauce;
- 2 teaspoons salt;
- 1 teaspoon black pepper;
- 1 lb ground beef;
- 1/2 pound ground pork;
- 3 tablespoons milk;
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs;
- 1 egg.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then in a medium saucepan bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. You want the pasta to be al dente, which means to the tooth. That is just a fancy Italian term for just done. Drain and set aside.
Put the onions, bell pepper and garlic in a saute pan and cook on medium until onions are carmelised and peppers are soft. Allow this mixure to cool for 10-15 minutes. Put this mixture in a large bowl and add barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, beef, pork, milk, breadcrumbs, eggs and pasta shells. Mix well. Form the meat mixtue into an oval loaf.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, serve hot or cold.