My mother taught me this recipe without any measurements: You can do it with your hands and get the feel of the correct proportions, adding more wet or dry ingredients, when you get the hang of it. Using better ingredients (i.e., more expensive cuts of meat, cheese, and sauce) will get you a more subtle flavor and a texture like paté if you cook it for less time. Or, you use boxed Parmesan cheese and pre-packaged breadcrumbs, cook it for a little longer and you'll get a crusty American comfort food. Every time I make this I get compliments, and it is simple and nearly impossible to ruin. Double the ingredients for more servings. —Gregory
What You'll Need
Preheat oven to 400.
Place the beef into a mixing bowl, and, using clean hands, mix except the salt all of the ingredients well.
Use less salt if your cheese, breadcrumbs and tomato sauce are already salty, more if they are less so.
The final mixture should be moist without being liquidy; firm without being dry. Correct with more sauce or cheese or breadcrumbs, depending on where you are.
Arrange into a loaf pan and cover with a layer of tomato sauce. Cook in the preheated oven for at least twenty minutes, depending on desired texture - more time if you prefer it a little crusty. Serve immediately.