Baked Penne with Italian-Style Meatballs is amazing. Every now and then you experiment and improvise and hit a winner! Not every time, but sometimes you hit the ball out of the ball park! Well, this was one of those recipes. Every mouthful was so savory and mouthwatering. This extra cheesy pasta entree is hearty, filling and so satisfying.
I LOVE meatballs and have a ton of recipes made with them. These Italian-Style Meatballs turned out so wonderfully. Roasted pine nuts provide both a spectacular flavor and crunchy texture to the meatballs in the recipe.
We had a houseful of company a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to think of what I could make that’s fairly easy. I needed something I could whip up the day before and bake during the time we were at church on Sunday. I was also looking for something that most people would like. Baked Penne with Italian-Style Meatballs was a huge success. Several of my guests remarked how much they enjoyed the meatballs, especially because of the toasted pine nuts inside!
If you’re looking for a tasty Italian main dish recipe that feeds about 10-12 hearty appetites than you’ve come to the right recipe! I would have made this gluten free except it’s hard to find GF penne pasta anywhere. [Update June 2017: Ronzoni now makes penne, macaroni, rotini and spaghetti noodles gluten free. They make the best tasting gluten free pasta I’ve ever tried.]
One of these days I’m going to have to break down and make up my own gluten free bread crumbs too. [Update June 2017: 4C brand now makes gluten free bread crumbs. They are available at Walmart.] But, until then, this recipe is a regular wheat pasta recipe. Even still, I think you and your family will enjoy this tasty pasta dish. We sure did. So did our company. The teenagers and kids loved it! Need I say more? 🙂
When I initially published this recipe in March 2013, the recipe turned out fantastic but my pictures were less than pleasing. I recently remade this recipe (September 2018) for our Friday night care group. I got really high marks for this amazing casserole. It’s just so mouthwatering and everyone loved the toasted pine nuts in the meatballs. They add excellent savory flavor and crunch. Give it a try. I believe your family will enjoy it just as much as ours.
Baked Penne with Italian-Style Meatballs is a wonderful pasta dish.
Baked Penne with Italian-Style Meatballs has it all! Texture, taste, and it feeds a lot!
The Italian-Style Meatballs were wonderful. I loved the taste of the pine nuts in them.
Baked Penne with Italian-Style Meatballs is a spectacular entree your family will love.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients for the meatballs.
Toast the pine nuts.
Add pine nuts with all the remaining ingredients.
Mix with your hands until everything is well combined.
Shape mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs and place on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes or so until baked through. Set meatballs aside.
I used these ingredients for the pasta.
Cook penne pasta according to package directions but only until al-dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Place pasta, egg, ricotta, part of the parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and 1 1/2 cups sauce in a large mixing bowl.
Stir to combine.
Spray a 9×13″ glass baking dish with cooking spray. Add pasta mixture to dish.
Place meatballs over top of the pasta.
Cover meatballs with remaining sauce.
Sprinkle up to 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning over top of sauce.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top.
Bake at 350 an additional 10 minutes until cheese melts.
All the cheese makes this entree spectacular.
Baked Penne with Italian-Style Meatballs is not low calorie but it sure is high on taste!
This pasta entree is terrific for company dinners.
These meatballs are fantastic.
Here’s the recipe.
BAKED PENNE WITH ITALIAN-STYLE MEATBALLS
(My own concoction)
- 16-oz. penne pasta cooked al dente
- 24-oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 48-oz. spaghetti sauce
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 16-oz. mozzarella cheese
- ½ to 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- Italian-Style Meatballs
- Cook pasta about 9-10 minutes—only until al dente.
- Drain and rinse.
- In a large bowl mix cooked and drained penne, ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella cheese and 1 ½ cups spaghetti sauce.
- Stir to combine.
- Spray a 10×15” baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spread penne mixture over bottom of prepared pan.
- Place meatballs over top of penne mixture.
- Spread remaining sauce over top.
- Sprinkle Italian seasoning evenly over top of sauce.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly.
- 1 ½ to 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 tsp. minced garlic from a jar
- 1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried parsley
- Place ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
- Roll beef mixture into golf-ball sized balls and place on cookie sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until done.
There are plenty of delicious meatballs providing a lot of hearty meat for beef lovers. But feel free to substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef if you prefer those meats.
Baked Penne with Italian-Style Meatballs is a marvelous main dish entree your family is sure to love.
This savory entree is so sumptuous. You will enjoy it down to the last crumb.