Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Whole-wheat pasta holds up well in this cheesy, saucy pasta bake.
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)
1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl; reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
3. Place panko, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, beef, and egg in a bowl, stirring just until combined. Shape beef mixture into 12 (1-inch) meatballs. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add remaining 1 tablespoon garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons basil, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
4. Stir pasta into tomato mixture; spread evenly in skillet. Sprinkle cheese over top; broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon basil.