Polpettone

It sounds better than meatloaf. Depending on your formative years and early meatloaf experience, you probably either love or hate it. If the latter, an overly dense, leaden version likely put you off. Try mine.

For a pound of ground meat (beef, or a mixture of beef with pork or chicken; I used buffalo and yak from Pine Mountain recently), finely chop half an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, a carrot, a celery stalk, and enough green cabbage to give you about a cup. I chop the vegetables coarsely then process in the Cuisinart for a few seconds. Cook in a bit of olive oil for about 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Combine the ground meat, cooked vegetables, a couple of eggs, cup or so of bread crumbs, half cup or so of freshly grated Parmigiano, sea salt, and pepper. If you like, toss in a bit of marjoram, thyme, or oregano; a few slices of finely diced mortadella make it even more Italian. Use your hands to mix thoroughly, then form a freestyle loaf on a sheet pan or cast iron skillet. Top with a few slices of bacon or other fatty pork if you like, and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Let the loaf cool off a little before slicing.