An easy meal, this recipe for a meatball pasta bake. Prepare quickly and simply. Creamy tagliatelle, spicy meatballs, a delicious tomato sauce, and gratinated with Mozzarella. On the table in half an hour! Of course, you have to bake this yourself!
Meatball Pasta Bake
An easy evening meal is this tagliatelle and meatball casserole. You lightly fry the meatballs, briefly cook the tagliatelle (only to make the pasta flexible in the sauce, they cook it after), and make a quick tomato sauce.
Spoon everything into the baking dish, and in 20 minutes, you will have a delicious dish on the table.
You can easily prepare the casserole the night before and store it in the fridge before you want to eat it; then, all you have to do is slide it into the oven.
What do you need for Tagliatelle and Meatball Casserole?
To prepare this Meatball Pasta bake, you need the following ingredients. You can find the correct amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the blog:
- Tagliatelle - An Italian wide pasta, about ¼ inch (7 mm) wide uncooked. You can buy them dried or fresh.
- Garlic, onion, Italian herbs, salt, and pepper - For seasoning this casserole.
- Breadcrumbs - Provides extra binding for the meatballs.
- Butter and Oil - You fry the meatballs in a butter-oil mixture. This way, you can make the fats hot without burning butter (and you still have that delicious taste). Use unsalted butter.
- Sieved tomatoes - The basis for this sauce. These tomatoes are sieved and have no seeds or skins.
- Mozzarella - Mozzarella is a cheese that melts wonderfully. The most delicious and only real Mozzarella is buffalo mozzarella. So really recommended. But if you can't gain it, you can use cow's milk Mozzarella.
- Ground beef - Ground beef has a lot of flavors and fits well in this oven dish. But you can also opt for chicken or minced lamb.
- Eggs - For binding the meatballs. Otherwise, they will fall apart during baking,
- Parmesan cheese - A delicious salty cheese from the Italian kitchen melts wonderfully when frying the meatballs and gives a flavorful taste.
- Sugar (tomato sauce) - A little sugar will enhance the sauce's flavor and make it less sour.
How to prepare Baked Pasta and Meatballs
You can find a printable recipe with a step-by-step description at the bottom of this blog.
- Place the ground beef in a bowl and add garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Knead well and roll meatballs of about 3 cm in diameter. Fry them in an oil-butter mixture until golden brown (they don't need to be cooked through).
- Place the tagliatelle, cooked al dente, at the bottom of the baking dish and divide the meatballs over it.
- Meanwhile, fry the onion until translucent, and add the sieved tomatoes, sugar, and Italian herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the meat. Divide the Mozzarella over the meatballs into small pieces. Cover the dish with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 390 °F (200 °C).
Variations and Tips
- Instead of tagliatelle you can also use fusilli, farfalle or penne.
- Add half a cup of red wine to the tomato sauce for a deeper flavor.
- Fancy extra vegetables? Cut a carrot and celery into small cubes and cook with the tomato sauce. Extend the cooking time of the sauce by 5 minutes.
- Extra vegetables, tip 2! Divide some spinach from the freezer (let it drain well first) over the tagliatelle before adding the meatballs.
- For a creamy tomato sauce, add ½ cup (125 ml Mascarpone) to the sauce before adding it to the casserole.
- Cover the oven dish with baking paper before baking the oven dish. This keeps the moisture in the dish, and the tagliatelle does not dry out during baking, but remains wonderfully soft.
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Meatball Pasta Bake
- 1 pound tagliatelle cooked al dente, following manufacturers instructions
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 clove garlic chopped fine
- 2 eggs size L
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper ground
- 1 tablespoon Italian herbs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion sliced thin
- 1⅔ cup sieved tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
- 4 oz. mozzarella
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
- Preheat the oven to 390 °F or 350 °F.
- Spread the pasta in the casserole dish.1 pound tagliatelle
- Put the ground beef in a bowl and add the garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper, and Italian herbs. Knead until everything is mixed.1 pound ground beef, 1 clove garlic, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon Italian herbs
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and melt the butter.1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Form meatballs (about 1 inch (3 cm)) diameter.
- Bake them in the butter-oil mixture until brown.
- Spread the meatballs on top of the tagliatelle.
- Meanwhile, bake the onion for about 3 minutes on low heat.1 onion
- Add the sieved tomatoes, sugar, and herbs.1⅔ cup sieved tomatoes, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 teaspoons Italian herbs
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Assembling and Bake
- Pour the sauce on the meatballs and ensure the tomato sauce is spread on top of the tagliatelle.
- Slice the Mozzarella into small pieces and lay them on top of the dish.4 oz. mozzarella
- Cover the oven dish with baking paper.
- Put the casserole in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking paper and serve.
- Cut a carrot and celery into small cubes and cook with the tomato sauce. Extend the cooking time of the sauce by 5 minutes.
- Spread some spinach from the freezer (let it drain well first) over the tagliatelle before adding the meatballs.
- Refrigerator (not oven-baked) - You can keep the tagliatelle dish covered in the fridge for one day.
- Refrigerator (baked) - Keep the casserole covered in the fridge for up to three days.
- Freezer (baked) - Store the tagliatelle in a freezer bag or box in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheating - Place the tagliatelle in a baking dish, cover it with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C) for 20 minutes.