Baked Penne/Ziti with Mini Meatballs

It’s Sunday night and I seriously have no idea what to write today. I seem to be completely out of words! So, I’m just going to stick to the recipe!! ūüôā


This is baked “Penne” – Ziti … with Mini meatballs …

Inspired by Giada’s recipe:¬†

First, I used my own recipe for the meatballs, because I don’t put dairy or eggs in them. If you’d like to refer to it, the link is here:¬†

Make the meat balls as listed above, and then set them aside.


Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ziti or penne
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 jars pasta sauce of your choice
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 TB butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot, bring 4-5¬†quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside. If not using immediately, cover top with plastic wrap so that pasta does not dry out. Do not rinse pasta with water since you want to retain the pasta’s natural starches so that the sauce will cling to the ziti or penne.

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. When almost smoking, add meatballs in batches and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs and brown other side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown. Remove meatballs to a plate.

In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti sauce and ricotta and mix well. Add the cooked penne and meatballs and toss gently.

In a large greased baking dish, pour in pasta mixture. Sprinkle the mozzarella, Parmesan, and remaining Romano all over the top. Dot with the butter. Place baking dish on top of baking sheet covered with aluminum foil to collect any drippings from the dish. Bake until top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes.

And… ENJOY!!!!


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