Recipe: Italian Import

Café Cortina’s Antonio Giannola shares Nonna Rosa’s meatloaf secrets


Antonio Giannola, dining room manager at Café Cortina, was born in New York but grew up in Palermo, Sicily. He attended culinary school in Monreale, Sicily, and then worked in Italy prior to coming back to the U.S. in 2002. He chose his mother’s recipe “because it brings me back to Italy every time I eat it.” Every time Nonna Rosa visits from Italy, his sons ask her to make the delicious meatloaf. She started making this recipe back in 1975 around Thanksgiving, he says. “My dad was not a big fan of turkey so my mom came up with this recipe, using corn flakes and milk instead of all breadcrumbs so the meatloaf is very moist — even after three or four days in the fridge.”  

Nonna Rosa Palermo Meatloaf (Serves 4)


½ cup corn flakes
¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
½ cup whole milk
1 pound ground meat, 80 percent lean to 20 percent fat
4 ounces white American cheese, cut in cubes
4 thin slices mortadella with pistachios, cut in cubes
½ finely chopped scallion
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon durum flour


Mix corn flakes and half of the breadcrumbs and soak in milk for 2 hours in refrigerator. Mix ground meat, the remainder of the breadcrumbs, cubed cheese, mortadella, scallions, nutmeg, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper, then add the soaked corn flake mix.

If meatloaf seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Dust the mixture in durum flour and sear in olive oil (medium heat) until the flour becomes golden brown. Transfer to meatloaf pan, place in the oven, cover with foil, and cook at 350 F for about 30 minutes.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

New Japanese-Inspired Restaurant Comes to Birmingham

Adachi opens this week in Birmingham

Shared Plates: August 2018 Winner

Recipe: Frozen Rose Popsicles

Cocktail Recipe: Tournesol

Food Recipe: Ginger Barbeque Glaze

Beverly Hills Grill’s Ryan Zagor’s all-purpose barbeque helper

Cocktail Recipe: Aquavit Gimlet

Long Road Distillers recommends a twist on the classic
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Review: Testa Barra Wows with Contemporary Dishes
    The Macomb Township restaurant serves Italian fare that is on par with the surging Detroit food...
  2. Michigan-Made, Mother Nature-Approved Tools for Your Kitchen
    Ditch disposables and opt for reusable products
  3. Exploring Metro Detroit’s Tiki Trend
    Mutiny Bar and Lost River serve up island vacations with every drink
  4. A Deeper Look into the Racial and Ethnic Tensions Dividing Metro Detroit
    From the city to the suburbs, existing segregation could be hindering the region’s progress
  5. Every Day is Throwback Thursday at This Roseville Steakhouse
    Mr. Paul's Chophouse has remained consistently delicious for more than 50 years
  6. A Look at the Inexplicable Exclusion of Detroit Tigers’ Lou Whitaker from the Baseball Hall of Fame
    Writer Michael Betzhold investigates the Major League slip-up
  7. 3 Eateries that Focus on People, Profit, and the Planet
    These triple bottom line businesses are part of Detroit’s FoodLab organization
  8. Q&A: Nancy Barr, Curator of Photography at the Detroit Institute of Arts
    Plus, information about the DIA’s upcoming exhibit, Lost & Found
  9. This Vegan Catering Company Celebrates the ‘Natural Beauty of Food’
    Plus, tips on how to create your own photo-worthy grazing board
  10. Meet the Makers: Salt Textile Studios
    This textile maker wants her creations to be unique to ‘here’