In the mood for a comforting Meatball Pasta Bake Recipe? Easy beef and pork meatballs in a simple tomato sauce, tossed with penne pasta and baked to gooey perfection.
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Meatball Pasta Bake Recipe

In the mood for a comforting Meatball Pasta Bake Recipe? Easy beef and pork meatballs in a simple tomato sauce, tossed with penne pasta and baked to gooey perfection.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 serves
Author Marie

Ingredients

For the meatballs (makes about 32 meatballs)

  • 250 g (9oz) beef mince
  • 500 g (1.1 lb) pork mince
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (notes)
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 700 ml (3 cups) passata
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (notes)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 6 cocktail tomatoes, cut in half

For the bake

  • 3 cups dry penne pasta
  • 250 g (9oz) fresh mozzarella, torn into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup finely grated cheddar

Instructions

For the meatballs

  1. In a large bowl mix all meatball ingredients. Mix and knead for a couple of minutes. Roll into balls of about 2 tablespoon. I have a dedicated meat cookie scoop that I use to help make sure they are all the same size

To cook the pasta bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / 180C fan forced

  2. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until slightly undercooked. Drain and if you are making it in advance of the sauce (rather than at the same time), drizzle a little oil through so it doesn’t stick together and set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat about a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the meatballs and move them around the pan until just golden all over – don’t cook them through. Place in a bowl in the fridge
  4. To make the sauce, first heat the remaining oil over medium heat, then sauté the carrot, celery, onion and garlic until softened (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the red wine and simmer for about 30 seconds or until almost all of the liquid has disappeared. Now add the passata, tomato paste and milk. Mix it well then bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often.
  6. Add the basil, and season to taste. Now add the meatballs and pasta and mix well.
  7. Spread about half of the mixture over the baking dish and then top with 1/3 of the torn mozzarella.
  8. Spread the remaining pasta mix over then top with remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle over cheddar, and dot the top with the cocktail tomatoes.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you’re unable to find cocktail tomatoes, just use a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes instead.
  2. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)