Just about the best meat loaf to come home to, great Italian flavours and very easy on the budget.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red onions, chopped

2/3 cloves garlic, chopped

pinch of chilli flakes

50g parmesan, grated

salt and black pepper

500g minced lamb

1 x 125g  macroom buffalo mozzarella

1 tablespoon basil, chopped

TOMATO SAUCE (makes double the quantity needed)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 banana shallots, chopped

4 vine tomatoes, skins and hard core removed, chopped

400ml can tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon basil, chopped

Start with the onions for the meat loaf, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic over a gentle heat for 4/5 minutes, stir in the chillies and season, set aside until completely cold. Set the oven gas mark 6 200c. Mix the onion mixture, parmesan and the minced lamb together, season well, now place the lot on a board and flatten slightly, break up the mozzarella ball and lay it along the centre of the meat mixture together with the basil, Fold it over to completely enclose the mozzarella & basil. Drizzle a medium sized baking dish with olive oil, gently lift the meat loaf onto the baking dish and bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes until nicely browned, then reduce the heat to gas 4 180c for another 20 minutes, meantime make the tomato sauce, sauté the shallots in the oil for 3/4 minutes, add in both tomatoes and basil, season and simmer for 10/15 minutes. Spoon half the tomato sauce around the meat loaf, 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, the remaining tomato sauce will hold in the fridge for 3/4 days, perfect with fish or pasta. Check the meat loaf is fully cooked 75c, slice, serve with the sauce and basmati rice  or potato wedges cooked in the oven at the same time.