Meatball, Kale & Mascarpone Pasta Bake

A lovely, rich dish that all the family will enjoy, courtesy of Waitrose. For more recipes, please visit

To make this vegetarian, replace the meatballs with 200g ready-cooked chestnuts (chop and add with the soffritto), stir 250g puy lentils into the tomato sauce and use a vegetarian hard cheese instead of parmesan.



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g pack reduced fat British beef meatballs
  • 250g frozen Cooks’ Ingredients Soffritto Mix
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped, to give 1 tbsp
  • 100ml red wine (see drink recommendation below)
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped Italian tomatoes with olive oil and garlic
  • 1 tsp honey or sugar, to taste
  • 250g Napolina Bronze Die Penne Rigate
  • 150g pack Pentland Brig kale, torn from the stems and roughly chopped
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 30g parmigiano reggiano, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wide pan. Add the meatballs and sizzle for 5 minutes until browned, then transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan, followed by the soffritto mix and half the rosemary, plus a little seasoning; soften for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6.
  2. Pour in the wine, let it bubble and reduce a little, then tip in the tomatoes and honey. Simmer for 10 minutes, drop in the meatballs and take off the heat. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and boil for 12 minutes, piling the kale on top for the final 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta and kale, reserving 3 tbsp cooking water, then tip into a medium baking dish. Pour over the meatballs and sauce; toss gently together with the reserved cooking water. Dot the mascarpone across the top, scatter with the parmigiano reggiano and remaining rosemary, then bake for 10 minutes until golden. Serve with extra cheese, if liked.
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