Penne pasta with meat balls

Penne Pasta with Meatballs: A Hearty Italian Classic

 Penne Pasta with Meatballs is a beloved Italian classic that combines tender pasta, flavorful meatballs, and a rich tomato sauce. This hearty and comforting dish is a favorite for family dinners and gatherings, offering a satisfying blend of textures and tastes that appeal to both young and old alike. Join us on a journey to discover the recipe for Penne Pasta with Meatballs, and prepare to savor the authentic flavors of Italy in every bite.


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or a mix of beef and pork)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • Olive oil for frying

For the Pasta and Sauce:

  • 12 ounces (about 3 cups) penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


Prepare the Meatballs:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef (or beef and pork mixture), breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, milk, finely chopped fresh parsley, egg, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil.
  2. Mix the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Form the mixture into meatballs, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. You should get approximately 20 meatballs.
  4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set them aside.

Prepare the Pasta and Sauce: 5. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

  1. In the same skillet used for the meatballs, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the finely chopped onion and minced garlic until they become translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine. Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  3. Return the cooked meatballs to the skillet with the sauce and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Assemble and Serve: 9. To serve, spoon the sauce and meatballs over the cooked penne pasta.

  1. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.
  2. Enjoy your Penne Pasta with Meatballs as a comforting Italian meal that brings the flavors of Italy to your table.

Cook’s Notes:

  • You can use a combination of ground beef and ground pork for the meatballs to add depth of flavor.
  • For extra richness, you can melt some mozzarella or Parmesan cheese over the meatballs and pasta before serving.
  • Feel free to customize the sauce by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes for a hint of heat or a splash of red wine for complexity.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated, making this dish a delicious option for the next day.

  Penne Pasta with Meatballs is a hearty Italian classic that promises a satisfying and comforting meal. With tender pasta, flavorful meatballs, and a rich tomato sauce, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. So, follow this recipe, create your own Penne Pasta with Meatballs, and enjoy the taste of Italy in the comfort of your home. Buon appetito!

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