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Meatzza

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

Of all the recipes in Nigellissima (and, of course, this statement is made prior to publication) this is the numero uno so far, in terms of repeat requests and general all-round joyous reception it gets at home. (I concede that since my on-hand sample demographic is the teenage market, factors are skewed in its favour.)

It amuses. But then, a culinary pun, it is intended to amuse: it looks like a pizza, but its base is made out of meatball mixture, moreover a meatball mixture you don't have to roll into balls but can simply press into a tin, rather like a juicy disc of meatloaf, or polpettone.

Of all the recipes in Nigellissima (and, of course, this statement is made prior to publication) this is the numero uno so far, in terms of repeat requests and general all-round joyous reception it gets at home. (I concede that since my on-hand sample demographic is the teenage market, factors are skewed in its favour.)

It amuses. But then, a culinary pun, it is intended to amuse: it looks like a pizza, but its base is made out of meatball mixture, moreover a meatball mixture you don't have to roll into balls but can simply press into a tin, rather like a juicy disc of meatloaf, or polpettone.

Meatzza
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 500 grams minced beef
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs (or porridge oats, not instant)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • butter for greasing
  • 1 x 400 grams can chopped tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 125 grams ball of mozzarella (not buffalo) (drained weight, halved then sliced)
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs (or porridge oats, not instant)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • butter for greasing
  • 14 ounces can diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 ounces ball of mozzarella (not buffalo) (drained weight, halved then sliced)
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 7/425ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, using your hands, combine the mince, Parmesan, breadcrumbs or oats, parsley and eggs. Grate in (or mince and add) the garlic and add some salt and pepper. Do not overwork it, just lightly mix together, or the meat wiill become compacted and dense.
  3. Butter a shallow, round baking tin of about 28cm / 11 inches diameter and turn the meat into it, pressing the mixture lightly with your fingers to cover the bottom as if the seasoned minced meat were your pizza crust.
  4. Make sure you've drained as much runny liquid as possible out of your can of chopped tomatoes, then mix the tomato with the garlic oil, oregano and some salt and pepper and spread, using a rubber spatula, lightly on top of the meat base. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top, and then put in the oven for 20-25 minutes, by which time the meat should be cooked through and lightly set and the mozzarella melted.
  5. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes, then adorn with some basil leaves and bring it to the table before cutting into wedges, like a pizza.
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 7/425ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, using your hands, combine the mince, Parmesan, breadcrumbs or oats, parsley and eggs. Grate in (or mince and add) the garlic and add some salt and pepper. Do not overwork it, just lightly mix together, or the meat wiill become compacted and dense.
  3. Butter a shallow, round baking tin of about 28cm / 11 inches diameter and turn the meat into it, pressing the mixture lightly with your fingers to cover the bottom as if the seasoned minced meat were your pizza crust.
  4. Make sure you've drained as much runny liquid as possible out of your can of diced tomatoes, then mix the tomato with the garlic oil, oregano and some salt and pepper and spread, using a rubber spatula, lightly on top of the meat base. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top, and then put in the oven for 20-25 minutes, by which time the meat should be cooked through and lightly set and the mozzarella melted.
  5. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes, then adorn with some basil leaves and bring it to the table before cutting into wedges, like a pizza.

Tell us what you think

What 14 Others have said

  • Yum Yum Yum!! Me and my Wife just made this for tea and already want another one. It's so easy and quick to make and definitely one of our favourite recipes. A perfect way to Christen our new kitchen :)

    Posted by PizzaBoy on 23rd July 2015
  • This was fabulous. I used fresh summer tomatoes instead of canned and it was scrumptious but tasted even better the next day. Definitely making again.

    Posted by Bonoca on 4th August 2014
  • I'm half-Italian myself and when I seen this recipe in Nigellissima - I went weak at the knees. This was my idea of perfection. When I made this recipe it turned out perfectly. I followed the recipe using beef mince, but I have also used pork mince and finely chopped onion, on one occasion and it still turned out just as delicious. I felt this was an ingenious invention by Nigella and I will be making it many more times to come in the near future.

    Posted by benwhite44 on 10th May 2014
  • I used quinoa flakes instead of porridge for a gluten free version. I also used some thyme instead of parsley (had been drying on my windowsill), 3 fresh tomatoes instead of tinned and bocconcini instead of mozzarella and olive oil and some organic garlic powder instead of garlic infused oil. My 18 yr old son loves it. Thanks so much for such an easy delicious recipe.

    Posted by Lizdexic on 4th March 2014
  • Incredibly gorgeous! Will make again and again, and so few carbs. Love it! Thanks Nigella. :)

    Posted by SolveigB on 6th January 2014
  • NIGELLA first of all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS I have just been watching your ITALAN INSPIRED CHRISTMAS here in SYDNEY AUSTRALIA You have brought back some very happy memories for me When I lived in New York way back i the 1970's when I was 23 - 30 years old I made a pozza with (Ground Round) MINCE MEAT as the base instead of pastry It came from a newspaper from Marylland Sad to say I lost the recipe SO I WAS THRILLED to see your recipe YES IT WAS GREAT I will continue to make this Thank You so much Nigella love from Lrystyna Cooks aka Barbra Krystyna Michnowski

    Posted by KrystynaCooks on 16th December 2013
  • Absolutely gorgeous when fresh out of the oven and such a scrumptious taste! It is indeed the best pizza I've ever had, carbs or no carbs!

    Posted by QuinnTessential on 24th October 2013
  • Any suggestions for what to serve it with? Rice? Flat breads?

    Posted by hiace_drifter on 18th October 2013
  • This is the most cooked and recooked of all of our loved recipes from Nigellissima. A brilliant week night easy to whisk up meal. We are two big-eating boys, so we add some strips of proscuitto just before the end of the cooking time. Sometimes a little chorizo too, just fried down a little and again added just in the last minutes of cooking. Think of it as meat-lovers meatzza, haha.

    Posted by gscicluna on 6th June 2013
  • This recipe is great, and it's so adaptable! I made a nice pizza sauce with some herbes de provence and plenty of fresh thyme. I also added in the sauce a can of baked beans (drained of excess sauce) and cookied it down until beans are mushy. I love the consistency this brings to a tomato sauce. I didn't have any breadcrumbs so I added a slight dusting of plain flour to the meat.

    Posted by soumie on 29th January 2013
  • I thought this recipe looked really interesting and wondered if it could be adapted for vegetarians my idea was to use mashed up french Puy lentils in place of the mince meat. I followed the rest of Nigella's recipe it bound together very well and I let it chill in the fridge until my daughter comes home from school... I'm curious how it will cook and taste ... watch this space

    Posted by taeko on 14th January 2013
  • Was very nice with the lentils but will have to add more garlic plus a stronger cheese on top as well next time.

    Posted by taeko on 15th January 2013
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