Lasagna, deconstructed

I love lasagna (are you beginning to notice that a lot of these recipes come from me trying to find new spins on my personal favorites? I just noticed it myself.) Stuffed shells, ravioli, manicotti, you name it. Pretty much any dish involving cheese filling, tomato sauce and pasta, and I am THERE. The problem is that it can sort of get a little, well, same-y. So, I started thinking: most people who love those types of dishes also enjoy meatballs (or meatless balls, depending on your preferences.) What if I made a meatloaf (I make my meatloaf and my meatballs with the same recipe) and stuffed it with cheese, and served it with pasta and tomato sauce?

The trickiest part was remembering my recipe for meatloaf/meatballs to write it down. I tend to make them on autopilot.


Ricotta-stuffed Meatloaf with Farfalle and Sauce


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1-2 c. bread crumbs (I like to use crushed saltines!)
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 onion, minced


  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 eggs


  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Begin boiling water for pasta. Mix together meatloaf ingredients and divide into 2/3 and 1/3. Place 2/3 into a loaf pan and pat out to cover bottom and sides; pat remaining meat mixture into a flat, as long as the loaf pan. Spoon cheese mixture into the trench, and cover with remaining meat mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink and cheese is less runny.

By the time your meatloaf goes into the oven, your water should be boiling, or close to it. Salt your water liberally — AFTER it comes to a boil — and add pasta. Cook to al dente, or your preferred doneness.

In a blender or food processor, blend canned tomatoes with onion, seasonings, and (if desired) leftover cheese mixture. NOTE: If you add the remaining cheese mixture, you MUST heat your sauce through, or you will be consuming raw egg. Serve sauce over farfalle (or whatever pasta you’d prefer) with a slice of meatloaf.

Fia Marquis

Fia Marquis is a home cook who enjoys gardening, creating recipes, collecting vintage Pyrex, cooking for herself and her husband, and trying to keep up with their toddler and three cats.

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