Italian meatloaf with herb salsa

Serves: 6-8

Italian meatloaf with herb salsa

I have described this meatloaf as Italian to distinguish it from an American style meatloaf. There is nothing wrong with the latter but, dare I say, it lacks the sophistication of its latin cousin. Meatloaf is best served warm or cold-in fact I’m not sure it isn’t better the day after: thickly sliced in a crusty roll with a good spoonful of the salsa, extra cornichons and some rocket piled on top. A long list of ingredients always worries me as I tend to think it puts people off recipes but I promise, this meatloaf is very easy to make.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 echalion shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 75g cubed pancetta
  • 90g crustless, slightly stale white bread
  • 100ml milk
  • 400g beef mince
  • 400g veal mince (or pork)
  • 55g grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • For the herb salsa
  • 65g watercress, spinach and rocket salad
  • 20g mint leaves
  • 20g basil leaves
  • 8 mini cornichons
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 100ml light olive oil
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
Italian meatloaf with herb salsa


  1. Heat the oven to 190˚c, fan oven 170˚c, mark 5. Grease and base-line a 1 litre loaf tin. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the shallots and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the pancetta cubes and fry for a further 5-6 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes then squeeze out any excess liquid and place the bread in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining meatloaf ingredients and mix thoroughly. If you want to check the seasoning you can fry a small nugget of the mixture for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and brush the top with a little olive oil. Cook for 1 hour in the oven. Remove and leave for at least 30 minutes. Serve in thick slices with the salsa.
  4. For the salsa, place all the ingredients except the oils in a food processor and blend to a coarse purée. With the motor still running slowly drizzle in the oils until you have a thick sauce. Taste and season with a little salt and ground black pepper if necessary.
Italian meatloaf with herb salsa