This meatball pasta bake is made with homemade Italian meatballs that use hot Italian sausage, ground beef, and ground veal with delicious aromatics. This meatball recipe sears them to golden brown perfection, then mixed with pasta, and baked with melty burrata cheese.
1/2lb ground veal (or lamb, or can omit veal, just make sure all meat=1.5lbs together)
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1/4–1/3 cup italian bread crumbs (start with 1/4, adjust if need more binding)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
1/2 cup olive oil for pan searing
1 lb rigatoni, cooked al dente according to package instructions
24 oz jar of arrabbiata sauce (or red sauce of choice)
8 oz burrata cheese
Fresh basil, chopped to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set a pot of salted pasta water boiling, once boiling cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions.
In a medium bowl, add in all of the meatball ingredients (minus the olive oil) and using your hands, mix until all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Roll into 1 inch meatballs and set aside until all are formed.
In a dutch oven over medium/high heat, add in the oil. Once shimmering, sear each meatball for 30-45 seconds until each side is golden brown. Remove from oil, set aside to drain and sear all remaining meatballs.
Drain the al dente pasta and return back to the pasta pot. Add in the meatballs to the pasta, the jar of red sauce, and mix till all combined. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking sheet. Tear up the burrata into small dollops and stuff into the pasta and meatballs.
Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melty and bubbly. Top with freshly chopped basil and serve.
To keep meatballs from sticking to your hands when forming, add a little olive oil to your hands.