Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce

By Published On: 9 Aug '20Last Updated: 14 Apr '24

This hearty and satisfying Penne Pasta with meat sauce is flavoursome and it's my go-to weekday pasta recipe. My family and the children in the family love it.

Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce

This is a simple and comforting Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce recipe that I have been making for a long time and is a firm family favourite. The sauce is a delicious tomato based sauce and can be prepared a couple of days ahead, ready for assembling at the last minute. I mostly use penne pasta however all other pasta varieties work well too.

Arriving in Australia in the mid-1980s, this was the first pasta I learnt to cook. I had never tasted pastas in India as pastas had not made their way into the Indian market back then. Nestle launched Maggie noodles in India in 1982 and they came into Indian kitchens almost instantly. The idea that anything could be cooked in 2 minutes had a great impact on the people of India as most food in India was slow cooked. Working women embraced these noodles with open arms. Actually, Maggie noodles were a centrepiece at some of the home parties I had been to, straight after they were launced in India. To begin with, they were cooked with a vibrant mix of vegetables and were a treat to the eyes, particulary as most of the dining tables in India were adorned with a variety of rice back then. These bricks of instant noodles were a delicious change and a real treat, whether in a soup or a dish. Thanks to Maggie for these 2 minute noodles and for sending a liberating message to all the Indian women!!!

Once I learnt to make this pasta, I experimented with many other pastas, yet this simple yet economical way of making penne pasta has outlived many recipes I have tried. It is easy to prepare and enjoyed by the entire family after all those years. I have made it into a mildly spicy version to suit my family taste. You can omit the chilli powder if you are not a fan of chilli.

A recipe that you will enjoy over and over again. Make it, eat it, enjoy it!!!

Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce

Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
This hearty and satisfying pasta with meat sauce is fresh and flavoursome.  The sauce comes alive with the addition of chopped rosemary leaves.  Best served immediately with a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a green salad.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion, Italian
Servings 4


  • ¼ cup olive oil and extra to drizzle
  • 1 medium onion chopped 150g
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3 tbsp. rosemary leaves chopped
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 800 g good quality canned diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1-2 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 3 tbsp. Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • ½ tsp. sugar optional
  • 500 g Penne pasta
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


  • Heat a heavy based saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and fry till soft (approximately 2 minutes). Add garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add rosemary and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add mince and brown evenly for 3 minutes, while breaking all the lumps. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, close the lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring from time to time to avoid from catching or burning. Do not overcook the sauce.
  • Open the lid, Add chilli powder, Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce, grated carrots and sugar. Stir well to combine, close lid to simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste bearing in mind that we will be garnishing with grated parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • While you are making the sauce, cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain well. Put back into the pan. Drizzle oil to prevent pasta from sticking together. You may use any oil, but I like use extra virgin olive oil as I like the flavour of this oil in my pastas. You may finish cooking in the pan. There are two ways to serve this pasta.
  • Firstly, you can add all the sauce to the pan, mix well with pasta, dish into bowls, garnish with grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately or secondly, you may divide the pasta into plates/bowls, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, top with meat sauce, garnish with grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately. It is totally up to your liking. As I prefer to see some white tubes on my plate, instead of mixing sauce with the pasta, I add pasta sauce on top of my penne pasta and garnish it with grated parmesan cheese. Please yourself in this area.


  1. You may add more rosemary if you like a more aromatic sauce but please note it is very important to balance the flavours.
  2. You may add chunks of zucchini, diced red capsicum and peas in Step 3 if you prefer more vegetables.
Keyword Pasta
Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!

Leave A Comment

Recipe Rating