Penne with Meat Sauce and Sautéed Vegetables

Delicious crimson sauce mixed with ground beef, Pecorino Romano, mushrooms, and zucchini make for a fabulous mix over a fresh bowl of penne pasta. Penne and meat sauce is so addicting—a sweet and savory combination that will keep you full. The zucchini, mushrooms, and Pecorino Romano cheese add another dimension of flavor that livens up the pasta.


  • Easy to make
  • Simple ingredients
  • Tender ground beef
  • Beef can be substituted for Impossible Burger

Meat sauce in the skillet

I got the idea for this dish when I needed to make a hearty dinner in a pinch. My local grocery store was out of most pasta varieties due to the supply shortage, but there was plenty of penne. I normally use gnocchi, but penne tasted just as wonderful! The ground beef can also be substituted for any ground meat such as turkey, chicken, bison, or Impossible Burger.


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Large skillet


Penne with Meat Sauce and Sautéed Vegetables

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 People


  • 1 lbs penne pasta
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10 oz (284g) baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lbs zucchini, sliced and halved
  • 1 lbs ground beef, or ground meat of choice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lbs tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • Italian seasoning to taste


Make the pasta

  1. Cook the dry pasta according to the instructions on the package. The one used in our recipe asks for 4 quarts of water with a tsp of salt.

Make the meat sauce

  1. In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp of vegetable oil. On medium to high heat, cook the garlic, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms, stirring occasionally until caramelized on the outsides. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste. This should take 10 to 15 minutes. Set the vegetables to the side in a warm place.

  2. Place the ground beef in the large skillet. Cook on medium to high heat, stirring and chopping occasionally. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste. Cook until brown. This should take 10 minutes.

  3. Place the tomato sauce in the same skillet as the ground beef. Add the cheese and stir, allowing the sauce to simmer for another five minutes.

Assemble the dish

  1. Serve the pasta with the vegetables and a cup of sauce. Top with fresh basil.

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