Polpettone con Ricotta


I have made various types of meatloaf and I have made meat rolls using flank steak (braciolone), but I have never made rolled meatloaf before now.

Polpettone con Ricotta (Stuffed Italian Meat Loaf) is a recipe I modified from an old cookbook of my mother’s, which she purchased at a church fundraiser.

The Italian Catholic Federation, (Central Coast District) was established in 1966 for the purpose of retaining Italian traditions and helping our fellow man. “Our Favorite Italian Recipes,”  the only cookbook (to my knowledge) that they published is a small 5-inch x 7- inch loose-leaf book.

It is held together with a bright red plastic spiral binding, that is now tattered and falling apart. The following disclosure appears on the first page: The recipes in this book may not have been laboratory tested, but their merit has been established  by civic and women’s groups everywhere and by the most critical group of all … Husbands!


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 cup smoked mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

Combine ground beef and ground pork, season with salt and pepper.



On a baking pan lined with parchment or wax paper, flatten the meat into a rectangle. Spread on the ricotta, top with mozzarella, sprinkle with parsley.




Roll the meat using the parchment paper to assist if necessary.





Remove the paper, bake in 350*oven 45-55 minutes. (Some of the filling will leak out). Let cool, slice into rounds.

For Merenda, plate a slice or two and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.



The original recipe called for mashed potatoes, I used ricotta instead and I replaced regular mozzarella with a smoked mozzarella. The original recipe also called for a can of tomato paste, olive oil and prosciutto with no directions on what to do with these ingredients. I suspect the prosciutto could have been layered on the meat prior to rolling and the tomato paste and olive oil used for making a sauce, however there was no mention of a sauce. I think the rolls are flavorful enough (with the smoked mozzarella) by themselves, but if you use wish to serve them with a marinara sauce, I would use a regular mozzarella instead of the smoked variety. Unfortunately, many of the recipes in this cookbook could have used the benefit of an editor.

Pasta alla Norma