Thursday, 24 September 2015

Ricotta Meatball Pasta Bake

Love pasta bakes? Love meatballs? Why not combine the two in this easy, family-friendly Ricotta Meatball Pasta Bake!

Meatballs are a favorite of mine. They are so easy (and fun!) to make, you can flavor them in almost any way you can think of, and they go with EVERYTHING: pasta, rice, potatoes, even quinoa. 

Something I had never tried, but had been hanging out to for a LONG time, was ricotta meatballs. I am so annoyed that it took me so long to make these simple little delights. The ricotta gives the meatballs a wonderfully light texture, and paired with the arrabiatta sauce, a match made in heaven. 

Being a pasta bake, this is a dish the whole family is sure to enjoy. If you're not as keen on chilis as we are, then use a simple tomato pasta sauce in place of the arrabiatta and I promise it will be just as delicious. Come to think of it; any pasta sauce would work beautifully with these versatile meatballs.

Ricotta Meatball Pasta Bake

Serves 4-6

450 g ground beef
250 g ricotta cheese
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 400 g jar arrabiatta sauce
400 g spiral or penne pasta
grated mozzarella

1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Cook the pasta following the package directions.  

2. Make the meatballs by combining the beef, ricotta, onion, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Shape into tablespoon sized meatballs and set aside.

3.  Heat a dash of oil in a large fry pan, fry the meatballs until they are brown all over. Add the arrabiatta sauce and season to taste. 

4.. Stir through the cooked pasta and transfer to an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle grated mozzarella over the top and bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese on top is golden.

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