Penne Pasta with Meatballs Recipe

A classic Italian dish, Penne Pasta with Meatballs, combines tender penne pasta with juicy, flavorful meatballs simmered in a rich tomato sauce. Perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion.


For the Meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)
For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
For the Pasta:
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • Salt (for boiling water)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
  • Fresh basil or parsley (for garnish, optional)


  1. Prepare the Meatballs:
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, chopped parsley, egg, milk, salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Form the mixture into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Fry the meatballs in batches until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Remove and set aside.
  7. Prepare the Sauce:
  8. In the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  9. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  10. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  11. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  12. Add dried oregano, dried basil, salt, pepper, and sugar (if using).
  13. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  14. Add the browned meatballs to the sauce and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, ensuring the meatballs are cooked through.
  15. Cook the Pasta:
  16. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  17. Add penne pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
  18. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  19. Combine and Serve:
  20. Add the cooked penne pasta to the skillet with the sauce and meatballs. Toss to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce.
  21. Serve hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil or parsley if desired.

Enjoy your delicious Penne Pasta with Meatballs!

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