Oven Baked Meatballs with Penne alla Vodka

Homemade oven baked meatballs and penne alla vodka pasta

Homemade meatballs with penne alla vodka, all baked together in one glorious pan. The flavours of the beef and asiago oven baked meatballs  and the creamy tomato and vodka sauce compliment each other perfectly.

The meatballs are made with fresh chopped parsley and grated asiago cheese. They are tender and juicy on the inside with a golden exterior. I find they cook best on a wire rack (with a tight grid) on a baking sheet, so the outsides get a little more crisp as the extra juices drip below. But the meatballs also cook well set straight on the pan or aluminum foil (less cleanup!).

Penne alla vodka is simple to prepare and so delicious! It has a rich, creamy vodka tomato sauce and a little bit of spice from the crushed red pepper flakes.

The great thing about this recipe is the oven baked meatballs and penne alla vodka can each be enjoyed on their own or added to other dishes. Try the meatballs served over rice with roasted vegetables. Enjoy the penne alla vodka on its own as a classic dish, or add some prosciutto or pancetta!

Dish of oven baked meatballs and penne alla vodka

Oven Baked Meatballs and Penne alla Vodka
Servings: 6 servings
Oven Baked Meatballs
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 3/4 cup asiago cheese grated
  • 500 g ground beef
Penne alla Vodka
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb penne pasta
Oven Baked Meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, onion, garlic and olive oil. Whisk to combine. Stir in the sea salt, pepper, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cayenne and parsley.

  3. Add the grated Asiago cheese, panko breadcrumbs and ground beef. Using your hands mix all the ingredients together until just combined. Be careful not to overwork the meat.

  4. Roll the meat mixture into balls, slightly larger than a golf ball in size.

  5. Place prepared meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

Penne alla Vodka
  1. In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute.

  2. Crush the tomatoes and add, with all the liquid from the can, to the pot. Add the salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the vodka and continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Then stir in the cream and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.

  5. Cook pasta to al dente, drain, and add pasta to the pot with the sauce. Mix until all pasta is coated in the vodka sauce.

Putting it All Together
  1. Transfer the penne alla vodka to a baking dish. Gently place the meatballs in the pasta, creating a small well for each one.

  2. Top with additional parmesan or asiago cheese. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

  3. Serve with additional parsley to taste. Enjoy!


If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and share a picture using #thesliceabove on Instagram. I always love seeing what you cook!

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