Broccoli & Basil ‘Meatzza’
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.
- 500 g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
- 100 g (3.5oz) almond meal
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 head broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces
- 100 g (3.5oz) bocconcini or mozzarella
- small bunch basil or baby spinach leaves to serve
Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Bring a small pot of salted water about 2cm (1in) deep to the boil. Add broccoli and simmer, covered for 5 minutes. Drain.
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.
Top meatzza base with broccoli. Tear cheese and scatter over.
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.
Serve sliced into wedges with basil / spinach leaves on top.
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.
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.
Have fun in the kitchen!