Puttanesca meatball bake

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

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 438
  • fat 17g
  • saturates 6g
  • carbs 43g
  • sugars 6g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 1.3g


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 24 ready-made meatballs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 anchovies, chopped (optional)
  • 2 small courgettes (about 250g), coarsely grated
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
  • 70g pitted black olives, halved
  • 500ml passata
  • 300g penne (or other pasta shapes)
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan


  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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