15 Minute Meatball Penne Recipe

15 Minute Meatball Penne


  • 3 "italian" sausages
  • 100g dried penne
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • splash of balsamic
  • handful of basil, roughly chopped
  • olive oil, salt & pepper

How to make 15 Minute Meatball Penne

I love sausages, but they are hard to get in Tokyo.  Imagine my joy when I visited National Azabu this week and found that they stock all sorts of REAL sausages from all over the world.  It is a magical place.

Sausages are versatile since you can eat them on their own or use them creatively in a dish, like this one.  They are also usually well-seasoned and impart their own flavour to the dish.  This dish calls for "italian" sausages, but really i think it will work with any nice, herby sausage.

Makes 4 small "pasta course" portions, or serves 2 as a main.

  1. Prepare the sausages.  Cut a slit down their length to pierce the skin.  Then, remove the skin from the sausage (you will find that this act is profoundly freudian) and discard.  You now have 3 naked sausages.  Slice them into inch-thick chunks.
  2. Boil some salted water and start the penne cooking.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a separate pan.  Sautee the onion, red pepper and garlic together until soft.  Add the sausages in individual chunks (so they don't stick together) and brown them on a high heat.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add a splash of balsamic and mix well.  Add the tomato puree and mix to a deep, rich red colour.  You'll want to eat it already but WAIT.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and heat through.  Pour about a cup of boiling water in the pan, mix well and allow to reduce down - this will make sure the sausage cooks through, and helps to break down the tomatoes into a sauce.
  6. By now your penne should be done.  Drain and add to the meatball pan when the sauce looks nice and thick.  Mix well, season to taste with salt and pepper, scatter the chopped basil on top and serve.
I think this recipe would be GREATLY improved by adding a finely chopped chilli at the same time as the sausage, but I didn't have any.

Nevertheless it was SO delicious.  I wolfed down two little bowls in about 5 minutes.  It was so good and so simple that this recipe is definitely going to be one of my staples from now on!

Happy eating.
Question from the Chef

“What other acts of cooking do you think are a bit freudian... ?”

  • theory
    theory says

    When I do this instead of cutting the sausages I just put my hand around the end and pull out a series of 'balls'. It is simultaneously Freudian, convenient and disgusting to think about.

  • Jaylene
    Jaylene says

    Looks easy, your recipe. :) mmmm HAHA.

  • rosannemiyako
    rosannemiyako says

    Whaaaaaaat?? I didn't know you could get sausage there! Or really anywhere in Japan! Thank you thank you!

  • theory
    theory says

    National Azabu and Nissin actually have their own sausage factory in Thailand, so they have a huge range of sausages. "Sausage factory in Thailand" Heh heh

  • iconsam
    iconsam says

    This looks quick and easy. Awesome. I love sausage.

  • worldpeas
    worldpeas says

    this is going to be dinner tomorrow. have some sausage in the freezer. thanks!

  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    I used to make this all the time :\ didn't know it was held in such high esteem of awesomeness. Same recipe as well :\ but I add chilli flakes to it. Oh well! Is cooking naked considered freudian?

  • yongfook
    yongfook says

    quick update! I did this recipe again and cooked the pasta "risotto-style" by putting the dry pasta in with the meatballs and adding just enough water to cover - by the time the sauce reduces the pasta is done. it was WAY more delishus.

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