Pasta with Meatballs in Tomato Sauce baked in the oven ! All the delicious juices from the sauce and the meat run down into the pasta and and turns the pasta into a very flavorsome dish.
With the Meatballs being baked on top of the Pasta makes this dish much better when serving. Rather than dishing up the pasta first, then the meatballs and ending with a sauce.
Because now you get it all in one scoop. Therefore, best of all, the Pasta is so tasty, very unlike plain cooked pasta topped with a sauce.
I was not really in the mood for baking or cooking this week and therefore I turned to magazines and recipe books for some much needed inspiration. And dinner inspiration is really what I need after a December filled with cooking and baking.
By now you should know that we love our pastas. Combine that with another favorite of ours, meatballs, and you have a delicious, comforting dinner sorted out. Add a crunchy side salad (totally optional) and dinner is on the table.
Prepping the meatballs only takes about 15 minutes, which I normally do while the pasta is cooking. Therefore, by the time the pasta is done, the meatballs are ready to be arranged on top of the past.
The oven does the rest. And this recipe easily yields 8 servings which is one of our most economical recipes when feeding a crowd. Also leftovers are perfect for lunch (or lunch box) the following day.
I use a large casserole dish with a lid, but any large dish will do, covered with aluminum foil.
Something else I might not always have in the pantry, is the canned Tomatoes. Then I simply use peeled fresh tomatoes, about four large, add a teaspoonful each of Oregano, Dried Basil and fresh Garlic. Blitz in the blender until chopped to my liking and I have my sauce.
Adding sugar to the Tomatoes is optional. I add a little bit to cut the acidity of the tomatoes as I get heartburn very easily. You can add the sugar or simply leave it out.
Pasta with Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- 500 g Pasta Shells ( 16 oz )
- 675 g Lean Ground Beef ( 1 1/2 pounds )
- 1 TB Butter
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 2 slices White Bread crusts removed
- 1/4 cup Beef Stock
- 2 t Fresh Garlic crushed
- 1 t Dried Basil
- 1 Egg lightly beaten
- 3 TB Tomato Paste
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 2 cans (410g ea) Chopped Tomatoes with Basil, Oregano and Garlic
- 2 t Sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese grated
- 2 TB Parsley chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) – Spray a large oven dish with cooking oil (oven dish with a lid or suitable to cover with aluminum foil)
Cook the Pasta in lightly salted water as per the instructions on the packet, drain and scoop into the prepared oven dish
Place the Ground Beef in a large mixing bowl – melt the Butter and saute the Onion until soft and light golden – add to the meat in the bowl
Pour the Beef stock over the Bread (on a plate) – squeeze out any excess liquid – add the Bread, Garlic, Basil, Egg and Tomato Paste to the meat – mix to combine – season to taste with Salt and Pepper
Form small meatballs (size of a tennis table ball) – arrange on top of the Pasta in the oven dish – pour both cans of Tomatoes over – cover and bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the meatballs are done
Remove cover - sprinkle over the Mozzarella Cheese - return uncovered to the oven for 10 minutes
Sprinkle with Parsley and serve
Serve with a crispy green salad or a vegetable side.
Comfort food at it’s best!
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