Meatball pasta bake Recipe

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serves:

4

Skill:

medium

Cost:

cheap

Prep:

30 min

Cooking:

30 min

What’s not to love about a meatball pasta bake? Tender pork mince, a rich tomato based sauce and all topped with a thick layer of crispy, golden cheese we can’t think of anything better come midweek. This hearty family meal takes only 30 mins to prep and 30 mins to bake and is well worth the wait. This cheesy, meatball pasta bake will leave your dinner guests with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. Perfect if you’re feeding a large family or the kids have got friends round after school. Leftovers of this dish can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Re-heat thoroughly before serving again. This recipe uses wholewheat pasta which gives it a healthier spin, why not swap pork mince for turkey mince instead as its lower in fat. This recipe is also great for sneaking veg into your child’s diets as the rich tomato sauce and cheese topping disguise those ‘nasty’ vegetable flavours – they’ll never know! Try the easy recipe for dinner today.

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.

More Recipe Ideas

Top Tip

You can make meatballs out of veggie mince and leave out the Worcestershire sauce for a vegetarian alternative to this dish