Meatball pasta bake recipe

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serves: 4
Skill: medium
Cost: cheap
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 30 min

Nutrition per portion

RDA
Calories 507 kCal 25%
Fat 19.3g 28%
  -  Saturates 8.4g 42%
Carbohydrates 40.9g 25%
  -  of which Sugars 14.6g 16%
Protein 40.0g 80%
Salt 1.41g 24%
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  • This meatball pasta bake makes for a mouth-watering mid-week meal.

    Our meatball pasta bake recipe is a real winner of a dish that’s loved by adults and kids alike. Tender pork mince is teamed with a rich tomato sauce and tasty penne pasta. Then topped with a thick layer of crispy, golden cheese that adds an incredible crunch of flavour. Health conscious parents can sneak some veggies into the hearty sauce too or try swapping the pork for turkey mince if you’re after something a little leaner. Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves on top and serve with a generous green leaf salad. Delicious.

    Ingredients

    • 300g (11oz) wholewheat penne
    • 500g (1lb 2oz) pork mince
    • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 75–100g (3–31/2oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
    • green salad, to serve
    • Sauce
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
    • 50ml (2fl oz) red wine
    • 2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp granulated sugar
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    • Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on the packet, then drain and set aside in the pan. Preheat the grill to medium.

    • In a large bowl, combine the pork with the onion, oregano, garlic, Dijon mustard, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and a good pinch of salt and black pepper.

    • Form the mixture into 28–30 bite-sized meatballs and arrange on a grill tray.

    • Cook under the hot grill for 10–12 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides.

    • For the sauce, heat the oil in another saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and gently fry for 1–2 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30–40 seconds.

    • Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, oregano and sugar, then season with salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced.

    • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6.

    • Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and add the meatballs. Stir until everything is combined, then transfer to a high-sided baking dish.

    • Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

    • Serve in big hearty portions with a green side salad.

    Tips for making meatball pasta bake:

    Vegetarians take note - you can make meatballs out of veggie mince for a vegetarian alternative to this dish. Just be sure to pick up a bottle of Lea and Perrin's vegan Worcestershire sauce (as the normal variety contains anchovies).

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