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.
Dinner, Main Course
For the meatballs (makes about 32 meatballs)
250g(9oz) beef mince
500g(1.1 lb) pork mince
1teaspoonfreshly cracked black pepper
For the sauce
1large carrot, grated
1stalk celery, finely chopped
1medium onion, finely chopped
700ml(3 cups) passata
Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
6cocktail tomatoes, cut in half
For the bake
3cupsdry penne pasta
250g(9oz) fresh mozzarella, torn into small chunks
1/2cupfinely grated cheddar
For the meatballs
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
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / 180C fan forced
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.
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
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).
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.
Add the basil, and season to taste. Now add the meatballs and pasta and mix well.
Spread about half of the mixture over the baking dish and then top with 1/3 of the torn mozzarella.
Spread the remaining pasta mix over then top with remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle over cheddar, and dot the top with the cocktail tomatoes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.
If you’re unable to find cocktail tomatoes, just use a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes instead.
I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)