Whole Wheat Penne with Meat Sauce Recipe | Italian Recipes | PBS Food

Whole Wheat Penne with Meat Sauce

Whole wheat penne, slant cut tubular pasta with lines, provides nutty flavor and guilt free enjoyment in this homey ragu-style casserole. Watch Mary Ann Esposito make Whole Wheat Penne with Meat Sauce at CiaoItalia.com!


Yield: 6 servings

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground chuck
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1 cup Provolone cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 1 - 1/2 cup fresh Mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Grinding black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat penne, cooked al dente
  • 2/3 cup additional grated Pecorino cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 10 x 2-inch casserole dish with cover, such as Le Creuset or similar stove top/ovenproof pan. Cook the onions over medium heat until they wilt; stir in the ground chuck and brown well. Stir in the zucchini and cook stirring well for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook covered for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Uncover the pan, lower the heat and stir in the cream. Stir in the basil and penne and combine well with the sauce. Stir in the cheeses. Sprinkle the top with the extra grated pecorino.
  4. Cover the dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve hot.


An alternate to using fresh cherry tomatoes is canned pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) such as Famoso, available in Italian grocery stores.