“I always think whacking a nice juicy meatloaf in the middle of the table feels like a real feast. This budget-friendly recipe, topped with oozy cheese, is easy to put together, super-flexible in spirit, and uses up stale bread. The chillies add great depth of flavour to the sauce, but if your kids won’t eat them, simply leave them out. ”
- 3 carrots
- olive oil
- 100 g stale bread
- 500 g higher-welfare minced pork
- 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
- 30 g feta cheese
- 1 large free-range egg
- 3 fresh red chillies
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 x 700 ml jar of passata
- 30 g Cheddar cheese
- 480 g dried spaghetti
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
- Peel the carrots, quarter lengthways, then place in a roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm), drizzle with oil and cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then use your hands to mix in a bowl with the pork, half the oregano, the crumbled feta (it’s a small amount, but it makes all the difference!), the egg and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- Shape into a loaf (roughly 20cm long), then, when the time’s up on the carrots, make a space in the middle of the tray and add the meatloaf. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the meatloaf is golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, halve the chillies lengthways and deseed, then put them into a medium pan on a low heat with a lug of oil for 2 minutes while you peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
- Scoop out and reserve the chillies, then put the onion and garlic into the pan with the remaining oregano and fry for about 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly.
- Pour in the passata, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour into the pan, season to perfection, then simmer until the time’s up on the meatloaf.
- Remove the tray from the oven and carefully pour the sauce around the meatloaf. Pull the carrots to the top of the sauce and arrange around the meatloaf with the chillies, then grate the Cheddar on top of it (I like to sprinkle over a few fresh woody herb leaves like rosemary at this point, if I’ve got it).
- Pop the meatloaf back into the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and delicious, and the sauce is bubbling.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain.
- Serve everything in the middle of the table with a salad, then slice up the meatloaf, mashing the chillies into the sauce for added heat, if you like.
– I’ve used pork mince here, but feel free to use any combination of minced meat, such as lamb, beef and game.
– If you don’t have carrots, use any crunchy root veg.
– When it comes to herbs, I’ve gone for dried oregano, but please have the confidence to use whatever you’ve got.
– Chopped tomatoes will work in the sauce if you don’t have passata.
– Same goes for the type of cheese and pasta – let the recipe flex to suit you. And if you don’t have pasta, serve the meatloaf with rice, mashed potato or bread.
– If you can’t get an egg, don’t worry. Just work the mince by scrunching it with clean hands and that will help it stick together.
Source: Jamie Oliver