By Dr. Karen Lindsay and Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe

Serves 4-6


900g lean minced beef

2 eggs, beaten

75g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 x 400g tin of whole tomatoes

1 tsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas mark 4.
  2. Mix together the minced beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesan in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Tip the mixture out onto a clean work surface and use your hands to gather it into a slightly flattened loaf shape (about 15cm x 23cm). Grease a roasting tin slightly larger than this and carefully transfer the meat loaf into it, adjusting the shape of the loaf to fit, if necessary.
  4. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, covering with foil for the last 30 minutes until set and firm.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, pour the olive oil into a saucepan on a gentle heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes without allowing it to brown.
  6. Add the garlic, tomatoes, sugar and some salt and pepper and mix together using a wooden spoon to gently break up the tomatoes.
  7. Cook, partially covered with a lid, for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce has thickened a little. Remove from the heat and add the basil. Blend the sauce to a smooth paste in a blender or using a hand blender.
  8. Slice the meatloaf and serve with the sauce on the side, along with baby boiled potatoes and fresh green vegetables of your choice.




Fionnuala McAuliffe is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at National Maternity Hospital Dublin.

Dr. Karen Lindsay is a Postdoctural Fellow