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Wolfie’s Thursday night turkey meatloaf

Wolfie’s Thursday night turkey meatloaf
Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

Is Valerie Bertinelli the mother of reinvention? Her life (and her fans) can be divided into several constituencies (many of which overlap): the "One Day at a Time" crowds, the I-Can't-Believe-She-Married-Eddie-Van-Halen curiosity-seekers, the Jenny Craig true believers, the devotees of ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
  • 2 slices soft white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 8 thin slices pancetta (about 4 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pushed through a press
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ketchup, divided
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze or vin cotto, or as desired
  • 1 cup loosely-packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Step 1Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl and soak for 10 minutes. Add the turkey, eggs, cheese, pancetta, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon ketchup, balsamic glaze, parsley, oregano, dried bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with your hands.

Step 2Shape into an 8-inch by 5-inch loaf and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and slather the remaining ketchup all over the top of the loaf. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the loaf reads 165 degrees, about 45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf and set it aside to rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to a platter and serve.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Valerie Bertinelli in her cookbook, “One Dish at a Time.” She writes, “The memory is so vivid: I’m standing at the kitchen counter, mixing breadcrumbs, onions, ground turkey, cheese, eggs, and seasoning, while Wolfie sits at the kitchen table doing his homework. They’re some of the fondest memories I have of his childhood – and I’m certain half of America can relate to this scene. Back then, I relied on a repeated weekly menu, which is how this meatloaf earned its name. It makes excellent sandwiches the day after it is baked.”

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