Smoky Meatball Pasta Bake

Smoky Meatball Pasta Bake
If you’re looking for a meal that the whole family will demolish, this Smoky Meatball Pasta Bake from Ciara at My Fussy Eater is just the thing! I’m reviewing her new cookbook today (spoiler alert, it’s awesome) and sharing the full recipe below!
Smoky Meatball Pasta Bake Recipe
If you're looking for a meal that the whole family will demolish, this Smoky Meatball Pasta Bake is just the thing! Smoky Meatballs in a tangy tomato sauce, baked together with rigatoni pasta and topped with lots of bubbling melted cheese.
  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 60 g breadcrumbs I used half fresh and half dried
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp Italian dried herbs I used a mixture of oregano and thyme
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 250 g dried pasta I used rigatoni
Smoky Sauce:
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes or passata Ciara uses passata, but I used chopped tomatoes in mine as that's what I had in
  • 75 ml beef stock Ciara gives the option of using red wine or beef stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 80 g grated Chedder cheese Ciara uses 40g, but we like lots of cheese
  • 30 g grated mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  2. Start by making the meatballs. Place the minced beef, shallot, garlic, breadcrumbs egg, dried herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together to combine.
  3. Lightly grease a large baking dish with the vegetable oil, then form the mince mixture into 12 meatballs (about the size of a golf ball). Place in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Place the meatballs in the oven and cook for 15 minutes until browned.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions (usually boil in plenty of water for approx 12-14 minutes). Drain the pasta once cooked.
  6. Make the smoky sauce by mixing the tinned tomatoes/passata, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a jug or bowl.
  7. Remove the meatballs from the oven. Nestle the cooked pasta in between the meatballs (I like to leave some bits of pasta sticking up to get a few crunchy bits) and pour over the sauce.
  8. Sprinkle on the cheddar and mozzarella and place bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and started bubbling.
  9. Top with a little freshly chopped parsley and serve with green veggies or salad.Recipe Notes
  10. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. Cool completely before placing in the fridge.

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