Penne and Meatballs Pasta Bake
about 30 min
- 12 ounces Penne Rigate
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus for drizzling
- 2 25-oz jars Balducci’s Private Label Tomato Basil Sauce
- 6 Balducci’s prepared meatballs or homemade large meatballs (about 1 lb)
- 8 ounces buffalo mozzarella or fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- ½ heaping cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta until al dente, about 1 minute shy of the package directions (it will soften more as it bakes. Meanwhile, coat a 9 x 13 casserole dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Drain the pasta and add to the casserole dish, spreading out into an even layer. Pour over two jars of tomato basil sauce evenly. Set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large non-stick skillet and cook the meatballs, browning evenly on all sides, about 8 minutes (they will still be raw in the middle, but there should be a nice even browning all over).
- Tuck the meatballs into the sauce and pasta, arranging around the casserole to your liking. Tear the mozzarella into bite-sized pieces and tuck around the casserole. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top. Season with salt and pepper and bake until the meatballs are cooked through and the cheese is bubbly and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Serve warm with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano on top.