Mar 30 2014
Looks like spring may just stay around awhile, it was 50 deg. today, 64 next 2 days and 50’s the rest of the week. It was great to get out and smoke on the Traeger today.
I decided to make an Italian meat loaf and serve it over spaghetti with sauce. I have made my own sauce but usually just buy Classico from the store and doctor it up a bit. I bought some Lucini’s Tuscan Marinara roasted garlic sauce to try for this cook. It is supposed to be made in small batches and was more than double what I pay for Classico. I don’t mind spending more when it comes to food though.
I made up the meatloaf early and got it in the fridge to set a few hours. I made up the recipe for the meatloaf and used some of the sauce in it. My wife ate a late lunch so I told her we would eat at 6:30.
My wife wanted me to use whole wheat pasta whenever I made pasta dishes. I tried it for a while but don’t care for it. Now I use Ronzonni’s Smart Taste, it has the benefits of whole wheat but the taste of white pasta.
I got the meatloaf on at about 10 till 5:00. The daughter in law called and wanted to use the oven to bake some cupcakes, I had plenty to feed her too. I made up Romaine salads and had the pasta ready and the sauce heated up when the meatloaf was done. I had made up some garlic chive butter to have with the last of my peasant bread and toasted it some under the broiler while the meatloaf rested some.
The grandson said he was not hungry and headed for the PC to play mine craft. We all ate and then the daughter in law made her cupcakes to take to work tomorrow. We all liked it; the wife said the meatloaf was extra good. I shaved some WI aged Asiago cheese over top for a change from parmesan. The veggie daughter in law even ate some of the meatloaf! The grandson ate some before they went home.
Ready for the smoker
Done at 165 deg. IT
Italian meatloaf over pasta w sauce
1 quart spaghetti sauce, homemade or favorite store bought
1 lb. ground chuck
½ lb. good ground Italian sausage
Green pepper, diced
Sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup of the spaghetti sauce and more if needed
1 Tbs. mushroom powder stirred into sauce, I used Porcini powder
1 Tbs. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheese, I had about 1 ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella and ¼ cup triple cheddar
About ½ sleeve crackers, crushed
Mix the mushroom powder in with the 1/3 cup of sauce. In a large bowl mix all through salt and pepper until well blended. Mix in the cheese until well blended. Mix in the cracker crumbs until well blended. At this point I added about 3 Tbs. more sauce. I like it on the moist side when doing in my smoker. Shape into a loaf, cover and in the fridge for several hours before smoking. I rubbed a light coat of sauce over it before going on the smoker.
Smoke your favorite way. I start mine on my Traeger at 225 deg. grill level and ease it up to 350 deg. over a half hour and take to an IT of 160 to 165 deg. It usually take 1 ½ hours.
Heat up your sauce and cook your pasta. Serve a slice of the meatloaf over the pasta, topped with the sauce and some shaved or grated parmesan. Serve with a side salad and bread and butter or garlic bread.