Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gluten Free Baked Penne with Gluten Free Meatballs

I am a diehard pasta lover!  There is nothing better than coming in from a long run in the cold to a plate of warm pasta.  Even though there is no genealogical evidence, I am convinced I must have some Italian heritage in me.  One of my favorite dishes to make is baked penne with meatballs.  It has the enjoyment of a lasagna with half of the work.  My husband, who does not have the same love of pasta as I do, loves when I make this dish.  The smell of meatballs and sauce permeates the air to where you can even smell it outside.  To ease the letdown of the post-holiday season, I made this dish with, what I think, great success:

Ingredients for the Meatballs:
2/3 lb Italian Sausage (Turkey sausage works, too, and I will probably start using turkey sausage after the new year when I am willing to admit my pants are hurting me)
1/3 lb ground pork (ground turkey works, too.  Same disclaimer as above)
2/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs (cornmeal works, too)
2 eggs, beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Add the bread crumbs to a bowl and add just a touch of water to make them just moist, but not wet.  In another bowl, mix together the sausage, pork, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan.  Then, stir in the bread crumbs.  Continue mixing ingredients with your hands until they are just combined.  Shape the mixture in to meatballs about the size of golfballs and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes on one side and then, turn the meatballs over and bake the meatballs for another 15 minutes on the opposite side.  Set the meatballs aside.

Ingredients for the baked penne:
1 package (12 oz) of favorite gluten free pasta (I prefer Schar's)
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce ( I am still working on my homemade recipe but it is not perfected, yet)
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Keep the oven at the 400 degree temperature. Cook the pasta for minute less than the  recommended cooking time.  Drain, and set aside.  Over low heat, reduce the marinara sauce until it just starts bubbling.  Set 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce aside; add the meatballs to remaining sauce and keep warm.

Spread the 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Spread the pasta on top of the marinara sauce and place half of the cheese on top of the pasta.  Spread the meatballs and remaining marinara sauce on top of the cheese and pasta.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Cover with the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is just starting to brown.  Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes.  Then, cut the penne in to squares and serve with your favorite veggies!
I am definitely going add this Allergy Free Wednesday and Gluten Free Friday!  Any favorite comfort foods?  Share in the comments section!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds yummy, I have been experimenting making mock meatballs with rice and chickpeas :) Happy New Year!!

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)
    I hope to see you again next week!

    This week's link up will be live Thursday at 7 pm eastern time! We will have kicking this year off with a Gluten Free Giveaway! Better Batter has graciously offered to share some Brownie mix to one lucky person! Come share all your goodies! Remember you can link up recipes, review or healthy living posts! The more you link up the more chances you have to win!

    See you there!

    Cindy from