Meatballs Baked Pasta

Remember the meatballs from 2 days ago? They were great on their own. Toss them into a pasta dish, top with cheese and baked? A DREAM! Also, since this dish is kinda red, I’m gonna claim it as my Chinese New Year offering to you. No, there’s nothing remotely Chinese about this. But it’s all red and festive and lively.

No one complains about meatballs, pasta and cheese. So this will do for a Chinese New Year thingy. I’m sticking with this. 😛 You know what? It doesn’t matter. This is a pretty delicious dish for every single day of the year.

The base for this dish is pasta of any kind, pasta sauce & whatever fillers you want to use. For me, I had some olives in the fridge and a can of button mushrooms in the pantry. You can toss in some chopped veggies if you’re so inclined.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 1

No cheese on this is good but a mix of Swiss Cheese & Parmesan is great. Swiss cheese gives a nice melty creaminess while Parmesan offers it’s nutty flavour.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 2

Once pasta is about 3/4 cooked, just drain and stir into the pasta sauce with a little pasta cooking water & a dash of milk. You can’t have the pasta all fully cooked if you are going to bake it. Otherwise, it’ll become overcooked and break apart. How to know that the pasta is 3/4 cooked? It’s pliable with a bit too much bite. Also, there should be quite a bit of sauce in the pan just so there’s enough liquids to finish cooking the pasta as well as prevent the dish from drying out.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 3

Umm… blur picture alert. Just keep your eyes on the cheese. Cheese makes everything better, including blurry pictures. Also, meatballs.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 4

Cheese snow, people!
Meatballs Baked Pasta 5

If I had more patience and weren’t so hungry, I’d let this go even browner. 
Meatballs Baked Pasta 6

Yes, dig in.
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Look at that… just look at that.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 8

One serving of this and you will win anyone over.
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There’s another portion for another meal. Meal that keeps on giving.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 10

Make this all your own. Replace anything with whatever. Just don’t skimp on the cheese and baking time. Brown bubbly cheese makes all things better. Just do it.

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“The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” {Isaiah 14:24}

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Meatballs Baked Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 250 gm (8 oz) Pasta of your choice
  • 1 can Pasta Sauce, homemade or store bought is fine
  • 8 Button Mushrooms, quartered
  • 8 pitted Black Olives, sliced
  • 12-13 Meatballs
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup grated Swiss Cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C or 375 F. If making this right after baking meatballs, just reduce temperature of the oven.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil & cook pasta until ¾ cooked. It should be pliable but still have a bit too much bite.
  3. Drain but retain about 1 cup cooking water.
  4. Return pasta into pot & pour in pasta sauce, mushrooms & olives.
  5. Pour in milk & enough water so that there's enough sauce to cover pasta about ⅔ way up the baking pan.
  6. Pour everything into an 8 x 8 baking pan. Top with meatballs. Push them halfway into the pasta & sauce.
  7. Sprinkle on shredded cheeses evenly over the top.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired doneness.
  9. Let it cool for 10 minutes & then serve.
Notes
You might feel obliged to make your own pasta sauce for this and that would be great. But on a week night, after making your own meatballs, it's perfectly fine to fall back on the store bought variety. Being able to make one element of the recipe yourself is already pretty great 😉

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