This Sicilian turkey meatloaf recipe is different from the norm. The ground turkey is mixed with mashed potatoes instead of bread crumbs. It simmers on the stove, in wine-scented tomato sauce. The result is super tender and totally delicious turkey meatloaf with a tasty sauce to spoon on top.
Meatloaf may be one of the most iconic American dishes, yet it’s also a popular dish across the globe. Dozens of countries have their own version. In Italy meatloaf is called polpettone, which means ‘Big Meatball’ – an exciting and comforting concept!
Lately I’ve been cooking my way through one of my old cookbooks – Foods of Sicily and Sardinia. When I came across a recipe for Sicilian style turkey meatloaf, it called out to me and I had to adapt it for PTG. I love the use of cooked potatoes to soften and bind the turkey. I adore the lively fresh flavors of garlic, parsley and capers. It’s an elegant departure from the typical ketchup and breadcrumb meatloaf (not that I don’t love that one too!).
The turkey meatloaf is formed by rolling and shaping the mixture on a well-floured surface. A good coating of flour helps hold the delicate loaf together when it’s sautéed.
The floured meatloaf is sautéed briefly in olive oil and then simmered in white wine and pureed tomatoes.
You end up with a tender, melt-in-your-mouth, brightly-flavored turkey meatloaf, drenched in wine-scented tomato sauce.
Here’s the recipe for Sicilian Turkey Meatloaf. If you make this, I hope you’ll come back to leave a review and let me know what you think.
- 1 pound all purpose potatoes (White, yellow, or yukon golds)
- kosher salt
- 1 pound ground white meat turkey
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced (1½ tablespoons)
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
- 3 heaping tablespoons capers, drained and finely chopped
- 4 oil packed anchovy fillets finely chopped (optional, but highly recommended)
- Salt & fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring your work surface (for gluten-free use gluten-free flour)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine (Vermouth is a good choice)
- 1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained. Tomatoes pureed in a blender or food processor (I recommend San Marzano or Organic tomatoes)
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- To Prepare the Meatloaf: Boil potatoes in salted water for 30-35 minutes, until very soft. Drain and set aside in a large bowl for about ½ hour, to cool. Peel and grate potatoes, using the large holes on a hand cheese grater or in your food processor with the shredding blade attachment. (You can boil the potatoes up to a day ahead and store them in the fridge)
- In a large bowl combine grated potatoes, ground turkey, garlic, parsley, capers, anchovies, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons flour. Use your hands to fully combine everything.
- Sprinkle about ¼ cup of flour on a cutting board or work surface. Pat the meat mixture together and set it on the floured surface. Roll it, coating it completely with flour, and shape it into a loaf that's about 3 inches high (make sure it's a good size to fit into your pot)
- To Cook The Meatloaf: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven with a lid. When oil is hot but not smoking, carefully transfer the meatloaf (I suggest using two spatulas) to the pot. Sauté for 2 minutes and then gently and carefully turn the meatloaf over and sauté for 2 minutes on the other side. Pour in the wine. Lift the loaf up a bit with the spatulas to let some of the wine slip underneath. Cover the pot. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, shifting the loaf once or twice to allow the wine to get under it. Pour the pureed tomatoes over and around the meatloaf. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper over the tomatoes. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes more, basting the loaf, from time to time, with the sauce. Remove the pot from the heat and let the meatloaf rest, covered for a ½ hour.
- Carefully transfer the meatloaf to a platter. Just before serving, heat the sauce and pour it over the meatloaf. Slice and serve each slice topped with some sauce. Add parsley and capers to garnish, if you like.
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