Baked Pasta and Italian Meatloaf

Looking for a comfort food on these cold winter nights?  Look no further than this Baked Fettucine with Asiago and Thyme and Italian Meatloaf.  The recipe for the fettucine is from Food Network and one of our favorite chefs – Giada.  You will need to make sure you have the right ingredients on hand.  This recipe calls for Creme Fraiche and Asiago cheese, not your standard ingredients.  You will also need some fresh thyme.  Fresh herbs are best when cooking and we were very lucky with this one.  We still had some thyme in the herb garden that was not too snow covered.  

My traditional meat loaf recipe is very good, but very basic.  We have found a few new recipes that spice up the taste of this widely popular comfort food.  This recipe is from Michael Chiarello, an old favorite from Food Network and Napa Valley.  I loved his show when he was on Food Network.  And, I love his restaurant Bottega and his store Napa Style.  Hubby always says that he would love to live between Giada and Ina.  For me Michael Chiarello would then have to live across the street.

Baked Fettucine with Asiago and Thyme


1 pound fettuccine pasta
2 cups grated Asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup
2 (8-ounce) containers creme fraiche
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

In a large bowl combine the 2 cups Aiago cheese, creme fraiche, Parmesan, thyme, salt, pepper, cooked pasta, and pasta cooking liquid. Gently toss until all the ingredients are combined and the pasta is coated. Place the pasta in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup asiago cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and serve.

Italian Meatloaf



1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons (about 6 cloves) chopped garlic
2 medium onions, diced
2 red peppers, seeded, small diced
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
3 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Saute 1 minute and then add the peppers and onions and saute until just soft. Let cool.

Whisk together the basil, parsley and eggs in a small bowl, and then add the salt and black pepper. Combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in another small bowl. Thoroughly combine the meat, herbs and eggs, Parmesan and breadcrumbs, the Worcestershire, vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil together in a large bowl using your hands, making sure not to over mix.

Pack the meat mixture into an oiled loaf pan, if you do not have a loaf pan, form the meat mixture into a loaf shape on an oiled oven tray or baking dish. Top with the marinara making sure to spread evenly over the top.

Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the middle of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/italian-meatloaf-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/creamy-baked-fettuccine-with-asiago-and-thyme-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

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