Whole Wheat Penne with Meat Sauce – Penne Integrale al Ragu’

Whole wheat penne, slant cut tubular pasta with lines, provides nutty flavor and guilt free enjoyment in this homey ragu’ style casserole. And even though the ingredients are humble, the addition of cream provides just enough richness to make this anything but ordinary tasting.



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 fresh basil, minced
  • 1/2 lb whole wheat penne, cooked al dente
  • 2/3 cup graded Pecorino cheese
  • To taste salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 10 x 2-inch casserole dish with cover, such as Le Creuset or similar stovetop/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, salt and pepper. Cook covered for 5 minutes over medium heat. Uncover the pan, lower the heat and stir in the cream.
  3. Stir in the penne and combine well with the sauce. Sprinkle the top with the cheese.
  4. Cover the dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve hot.
  5. Tip: an alternate to using fresh cherry tomatoes is canned pomodorini (cherry tomatoes) such as Famoso, available in Italian grocery stores

This recipe was featured on Season 19 - Episode 1902.

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