Penne and meatballs in marinara sauce with Caesar salad

In order to bring you the best organic produce, some ingredients may differ from those depicted.

Customer Favorite

Penne and meatballs in marinara sauce with Caesar salad

Family-Friendly, Soy-Free

2 Servings, 770 Calories/Serving

30 – 45 Minutes

Not your mother’s spaghetti and meatballs, this updated Italian-American classic is a favorite of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.

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In your bag

1 bag serves 2 (2 bags serve 4)
Sun Basket is proud to source the organic ingredients indicated below. On the rare occasion we are unable to meet our organic promise, we'll put a note in your bag.
  • 5 ounces gluten-free quinoa penne
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 5 ounces ground beef
  • 5 ounces ground pork
  • 1 pasture-raised organic egg
  • Meatball spice blend (granulated garlic - onion powder - dried oregano - dried thyme)
  • ¼ cup whole wheat panko
  • Sun Basket marinara (tomatoes - fresh garlic - tomato paste - balsamic vinegar - olive oil - salt - black pepper)
  • 1 romaine heart
  • Sun Basket Caesar dressing (paleo mayo - Parmesan - sherry vinegar - Dijon mustard - fresh garlic - anchovy paste - salt - black pepper)
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh basil

Chef's Tip

Before shaping and cooking the meatballs, you can test the seasoning of the meat mixture by cooking a tablespoon or so in a small frying pan with a bit of oil over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

Make It Ahead
The meatballs and marinara (Steps 2 and 3) can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, gently rewarm the meatballs and marinara, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to loosen the sauce, as you proceed with Steps 1 and 4 through 6.

Nutrition per serving

Calories: 770, Protein: 51g (102% DV), Fiber: 8g (32% DV), Total Fat: 28g (43% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g, Saturated Fat: 8g (40% DV), Cholesterol: 190mg (63% DV), Sodium: 810mg (34% DV), Carbohydrates: 77g (26% DV), Total Sugars: 10g, Added Sugar: 0g (0% DV).
Contains: Milk, Eggs, Fish, Wheat

Sodium does not include pantry salt; for reference, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt per serving averages 240mg (10% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat. Packed in a facility that handles all major food allergens* and gluten. *Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustacean Shellfish, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat, Soybeans.


2-serving instructions (4-serving modifications in red)

Wash produce before use


Cook the penne

Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.
While the water heats and the penne cooks, make the meatballs.


Prepare the meatballs

  • Divide the Parmesan into two equal portions; set aside half for the salad.
  • Cut a small corner from the ground beef package and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; pat dry with a paper towel. Repeat with the ground pork.
In a medium [large] bowl, using a whisk or fork, blend the egg with the meatball spice blend, panko, and half the Parmesan. Add the beef and pork, season generously with salt and pepper, and mix until just combined. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.


Cook the meatballs and sauce

In a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if needed, add the meatballs and cook, turning once, until lightly browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil between batches if needed.
Return all the meatballs to the pot and stir in the marinara; bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar, if using.
While the meatballs and marinara cook, prepare the salad.


Make the salad

  • Trim the root end from the romaine heart; coarsely chop the leaves.
In a large bowl, toss together the romaine and half the Caesar dressing (set aside the remaining dressing for serving). Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Prep the garnish; finish the dish

  • Strip the basil leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
To the pot with the meatballs and marinara, add the penne and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Transfer the penne and meatballs to individual bowls and garnish with the basil. Sprinkle the salad with the remaining Parmesan and serve the salad and the remaining dressing on the side.

Kids Can!

  • Divide the Parmesan into equal portions.
  • Toss the salad.
  • Strip the basil leaves.

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