Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole is the comfort food of any pasta and cheese lovers dreams, made with our favorite quality pasta, the families favorite hearty,thick, chunky homemade pasta sauce, delicious meatballs, and the cheesiest cheeses around. It just screams Delicious. This Baked Rotini and Meatballs turns any traditional pasta and meatballs into the most amazing baked cheesy casserole you will ever taste.
Be ready to have plenty of the Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole on hand to serve, because believe you me when I tell you that everyone always heads back to the Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole dish for seconds and yes sometimes thirds at our family dinner table. There’s just something about the combination of thick, rich, chunky, pasta sauce. with this huge meatballs, and gooey cheese that really get people going. at dinner.
Looking back these photos today, I wish I had cleaned up the casserole dish a little for the photos, but really sometimes I think seeing real life is good for y’all readers. Let’s you know I am human too, I am messy, and it’s ok if you’re casserole looks a bit messy too. I mean, after all, we can’t be perfect all the time. can we?
I love cheese, the more cheese the better, don’t you think? So to me, the cheese is one of the most important ingredients in my Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole, followed by a hearty thick rich homemade sauce, and the best you ever ate meatballs made from quality ground beef, mild Italian sausage, MORE cheese, and the perfect Italian seasonings then baked to perfection in a hot oven.
Perfect Marinara sauce was one of Frank Sinatra’s culinary passions. Frank published the recipe for his mother’s Natalie Della Garaventa aka Dolly Sinatra, tomato sauce in a cookbook and even launched his own line of jar sauce in the late 1980s. His deliciously yummy recipe called for ripe red Roma tomatoes, olive oil, not too much onion and a fair amount of Italian Gold aka garlic. Which is exactly why I have used his recipe for Marinara sauce as the foundation for my sauce with a few adaptions to the sauce recipe for my Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole
Now, if y’all like you can omit the homemade pasta sauce and of course use your favorite jar sauce and make this a little faster there’s no crime in that if you need to save some time, it won’t taste the same but I’m almost certain it will still be pretty darn tasty I bet. One thing I would not change is the meatballs to a frozen brand though due to the recipe will be off and I can’t make y’all any promises once you change the recipe to that extent.
Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole
- 1/4 of a cup of olive oil
- 1 large carrot finely diced
- 1 stalk of celery finely diced
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 1 medium green pepper finely diced
- 8-ounces sliced Portobello mushrooms
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1-28-ounce can Italian style tomatoes
- 1-28-ounce can of tomato purée
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- kosher salt, to own taste
- black pepper, to own taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions for sauce
- In a metal frying pan, add the olive oil, the carrot, celery,green pepper, onion, mushrooms, and the four cloves garlic: stir often over medium heat until the veggies are tender and the onion is golden.
- Drain the Italian-style canned tomatoes, saving 1/4 of a cup of the liquid. Place the liquid from the canned Italian-style and tomato purée in the blender for about 6 seconds.
- Add the drained tomatoes and blended tomato purée in the sauce pot; cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Season the Marinara sauce with fresh parsley, dried thyme, and kosher salt, and black pepper stir the sauce well; simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring sauce a few times before adding the fried meatballs and cooking 20 minutes.
- 3/4 of a pound of lean ground beef
- 1/2 of a pound mild Italian sausage
- 1 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 of a cup Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- kosher salt to own taste
- freshly ground pepper to own taste
- olive oil
Instructions for meatballs
- Combine, ground beef, ground mild Italian sausage, Italian bread crumbs, parmesan and romano Italian cheese blend, chopped parsley, minced garlic, basil,kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Form meat mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball.
- Brown the meatballs in the olive oil and reserve them until the pasta sauce has cooked about 20 minutes before adding them to the pasta sauce, cook in sauce about 20 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the sauce and let cool before slicing in half.
Additional Ingredients Needed
- 1/2 of a cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 of a cup of shredded Asiago cheese
- 1/2 of a cup of shredded provolone cheese
- 1/4 of a cup grated Ramano cheese
- 1/4 of a cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound of Rotini Pasta Noodles cooked al dente
- Chopped fresh Parsley to serve
- Pepper flakes optional
- cooking spray
Instructions to assemble
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- In a medium bowl combine shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded asiago, and shredded provolone cheese. Reserve the cheese till needed.
- In an extra-large bowl combine 1 pound of al dente Rotini, 1/4 of a cup of grated Ramano cheese, 1/4 of a cup parmesan cheese, and your desired amount of pasta sauce from above recipe or favorite jar sauce,don’t forget some of the sauce cooks into the pasta so don’t be afraid to add a little extra sauce.
- Add a layer of the pasta mixture to a 10 x 13 prepared baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place a layer of meatballs that have been sliced in half on top of the pasta, then a light layer of the cheese mixture.
- Next, add the last layer by adding a layer of the pasta mixture, place a top layer of meatballs that have been sliced in half on top of the pasta, then a light layer of the pasta sauce, and the rest of the cheese mixture.
- Lightly cover the Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole with foil and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Place in your favorite pasta bowls and add a few red pepper flakes and chopped parsley to the bowls if desired.
- Be sure to refrigerate or freeze any of the remaining pasta sauce for a later date.
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch,2016- 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.