Broccoli & Basil ‘Meatzza’

Broccoli & Basil Meatzza-2

Broccoli & Basil ‘Meatzza’

I know. I can’t believe I ‘went there’ either. I remember the first time my Irishman told me about ‘meatzza’, my first reaction was ‘gross’. Definitely not.

Then years later I stumbled across Nigella’s recipe for meatzza in her Italian book. And if it’s good enough for Nigella…

If I still haven’t convinced you, instead of calling it ‘meatzza’, you could just think of it as a very large flat meatloaf. And serve the slices with lots of salad or veg. Like I do!

I love this broccoli & basil version (even if I forgot to add the basil for the photo shoot!). The toppings balance out the meatiness. However I’ve also made a more traditional margarita with a tomato sauce which was delicious as well.

There are 7-ingredients in the list here, but one is salt which I don’t count in my ‘6’.

enough for: 3
takes: 30 minutes

500g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
100g (3.5oz) almond meal
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 head broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
100g (3.5oz) bocconcini or mozzarella
small bunch basil or baby spinach leaves, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Bring a small pot of salted water about 2cm (1in) deep to the boil. Add broccoli and simmer, covered for 5 minutes. Drain.

3. In a medium bowl, mix beef, almond meal, eggs and salt. I find hands are best for this. Transfer the meat mixture to your prepared tray and use your hands to flatten it out into a circle about 30cm (12in) diameter. I like to make a little border that is slightly thicker around the edges.

4. Top meatzza base with broccoli. Tear cheese and scatter over.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and the meat is cooked through. If there’s a little liquid seeping out, just pat it dry with paper towel.

6. Serve sliced into wedges with basil / spinach leaves on top.

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WINE MATCH: An Italian red like Chianti or Sangiovese.

Variations & Substitutions

vegetarian – Try my cauliflower pizza with the broccoli + basil toppings.

more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with garlic bread. Or use regular pizza bases.

more substantial (low carb) – use the recipe to serve 2. Or serve with a substantial low carb salad or veg side.

margarita – replace broccoli with your favourite pizza tomato sauce.

cheesier – serve with lashings of grated parmesan.

different meat – replace beef with ground chicken or turkey.

egg-free – replace egg with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 50g (2oz) grated parmesan.

nut-free – replace almond meal with fresh bread crumbs or half breadcrumbs and half grated parmesan. Or use ground sunflower seeds.

hot! – wonderful with your fave hot sauce or a drizzle of chilli oil.

pizza ‘rosso’ – add some tomato passata or crushed canned tomatoes before topping with the broccoli.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

minced (ground) beef – freeze it.

almond meal / fine salt – keep them in the pantry.

eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.

broccoli – will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for about 2 weeks or sometimes a little longer. Can be frozen (if you have time chop before freezing so it will defrost quickly in the pan).

bocconcini or mozzarella – freeze them.

basil – make basil oil by packing washed and dried leaves in a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil. Or you can freeze the leaves, they’ll wilt but will still be delicious.

baby spinach – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted again.

Broccoli & Basil Meatzza

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