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Meatloaf

Moist and tender, meatloaf is the quintessential comfort food. The budget-friendly dish is versatile: Plate it with mashed potatoes and gravy, eat it as a sandwich, or form it into burgers. Learn the secrets to a perfect meatloaf and fill your recipe box with tips for varying this mealtime must.

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recipe

If your family loves meatloaf as much as mine, get them into the kitchen to help assemble this simple, winning dinner. Whip up some mashed potatoes and a vegetable, such as green peas or steamed carrots, and you've got a well-rounded meal. Hold on to leftovers for sandwiches the next day -- they're killer!

recipe

Mortadella (finely ground pork sausage with pieces of pistachio and spices) and a couple tablespoons of wine add tremendous depth of flavor to this traditional comfort food. Serve it with several vegetable side dishes, sparkling water, and a bottle of wine. From the book "Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).