If you're looking for a meal that the whole family will devour, this tomatoey Meatball Pasta Bake is just the thing!
400g beef mince
75g dry breadcrumbs
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp dried oregano, plus 1 tsp
150g cheddar cheese, grated
2 red onions, sliced into slim wedges
1 red pepper, cut into 1cm chunks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into ½cm cubes
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
500g pasta shells, spirals or tubes
1) Make the meatballs. Mix together the beef, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, ½ tbsp. of oregano and 50g of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Roll into mini meatballs, the size of cherry tomatoes – you should get 40 or so. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
2) Heat the oven’s grill to high. Transfer the meatballs to a high-sided tray and grill for 10 minutes or so, shaking regularly to turn, until coloured on the outside. Remove and set aside.
3) Heat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Put the onion, pepper, carrot, garlic, chilli and half the oil in the tray you browned the meatballs in. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, till softened. Add the tomatoes, 1 tsp oregano, vinegar and sugar, mix together, and return to the oven for 20 minutes.
4) Cook the pasta as per the pack instructions. Drain, toss with the remaining oil and set aside.
5) Remove the tray from the oven and add the meatballs and pasta. Stir to incorporate, then top with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for 20 minutes, until browned on top (you can brown further under a hot grill, if you wish). Stand for 5 minutes before serving.