Rich chilli, garlic and tomato meatballs baked with penne, mozzarella and parmesan for a satisfyingly delicious pasta bake!
Healthy Extra: A (1 per portion)
- 500 g 5% fat beef mince
- low calorie cooking spray or spray oil
- 2 tins (400g each) chopped tomatoes
- 5 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 whole green chilli (stalk removed (leave seeds in if you like extra hot, I do))
- 300 g penne pasta
- 150 g mozzarella
- 30 g Parmesan cheese (grated)
- salt and pepper to taste
- basil and red chilli to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180c. Make up the meatballs by simply rolling the mince into walnut -sized balls. Fry them over a high heat in a non-stick frying pan (using either low calorie cooking spray or spray oil) for 5 minutes, turning them often to brown on all sides.
- To make the sauce, use a hand-blender or a food processor to whizz up the tomatoes, garlic and chilli. Blend until completely smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the sauce to a saucepan, bring up to a simmer and then add the cooked meatballs
- Simmer the sauce and meatballs gently for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 12 minutes, drain, then rinse with cold water to prevent it getting sticky.
- Once the sauce has cooked for 30 minutes, stir the pasta through and spoon it all into an ovenproof dish.
- Tear up the mozzarella and distribute it evenly over the top, then sprinkle over the Parmesan. Grind some more black pepper on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown on top. Serve up with torn basil leaves torn on top, and chopped red chilli (if using).
Want a nice vegetable side dish with this? I would serve up with courgette fried until slightly golden, rocket, and roasted peppers.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Main course
- Method: Easy
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: meatball, pasta, traybake, Italian recipe