1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced (~2 tsp)
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 tbsp celery, finely diced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce
milk, if needed
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (low fat)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 -1 cup tomato or spaghetti sauce
Meat mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine breadbrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, celery, Italian seasoning, basil, cheese, and ground beef. After combined, make a well in the center. Break the egg into this well; add Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. With a fork, quickly beat the egg and sauces together in the well. Using either your hands or a large spoon, mix eggs and meat together until well combined. If mixture seems too dry, add a little milk -- or one more beaten egg -- to the meat mixture.
For filling: In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Mix together and set aside.
To assemble: Divide the meat mixture into two equal parts. Press half the meat mixture into a loaf pan. Pressing down with your fingers or the back of a spoon, create a shallow "ditch" down the middle of the meat mixture. Spread the ricotta filling mixture into the ditch, leaving about a 1.5 inch border of meat all around. Press the other half of the meat mixture into the loaf pan, pushing down around the outside edges to help seal the filling. Cover with foil and freeze.
Serving day: Thaw meatloaf. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, then spoon off any extra grease, if necessary. Pour 1/2 -1 cup of your favorite tomato or spaghetti sauce on top of the meatloaf and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
** For additional flavor, you can add 1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms and/or 1 tbsp sundried tomatoes to the filling.