Puttanesca meatball bake served on a plate

Puttanesca meatball bake

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4-6

This quick-to-prepare pasta bake with capers, chilli flakes, olives and courgettes is the ideal midweek meal. Tasty and filling, it'll satisfy the whole family

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving (6)

  • kcal438
  • fat17g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre5g
  • protein25g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 24 ready-made meatballs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 anchovies, chopped (optional)



    Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…

  • 2 small courgettes (about 250g), coarsely grated



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
    Capers in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 70g pitted black olives, halved
  • 500ml passata
  • 300g penne (or other pasta shapes)
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the meatballs until they are browned all over, then tip them into a dish. Add the garlic and chilli, if using, to the leftover oil in the pan and cook it briefly along with the anchovies, if using. Fry until the anchovies almost melt, then add the courgettes and cook until any liquid they give off has evaporated. Stir in the capers, olives and passata and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and cook for 5 mins more, then season if needed.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions, drain well, then tip into an ovenproof baking dish about 25cm wide. Spoon over the meatball mixture, stir into the pasta and level the surface as much as possible. Sprinkle over the parmesan and bake for 30 mins, or until the top is browned a little and the sauce is bubbling. Rest for 5 mins before serving.

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