BAKED SPAGHETTI PIE WITH VENISON
A recipe featured in the Outdoor News Taste of the Wild
With the continued COVID-19 related quarantines, it will be great when we can all gather again for potluck dinners and family get-togethers once again. Because it is a dish that transports so well, this recipe is ideal for just that! In the meantime, this Italian-inspired dish taps the ground venison you’ve got stashed in the back of the freezer, while delivering a lot of comfort food qualities during these dark winter days.
6 oz spaghetti noodles
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
1 lb. ground venison
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped sweet red bell pepper
1 garlic glove, minced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with liquid
1 6-oz size can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon grape jelly
1 teaspoon minced oregano
½ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Prepare spaghetti according to package directions, adding garlic powder to boiling water. Drain and place into a large bowl. Combine prepared spaghetti with 2 tablespoons of the butter, eggs and Parmesan cheese.
Grease a large deep-dish pie pan with butter and spread the spaghetti mixture on the bottom and up the sides. Top with cottage cheese and set the pan aside.
In a large skillet, brown the venison, adding the other tablespoon of butter. Add the onions and pepper and cook until meat is browned and vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized. Add the garlic, tomatoes, grape jelly, oregano, parsley and salt. Stir well and simmer 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon the tomato venison mixture on top of the cottage cheese in the pie plate.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top. Return to the oven for approximately 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
A note from the kitchen: Beef or even ground turkey can be substituted for the venison in this recipe. If using beef, drain the browned meat before adding the onion and pepper, and reduce the butter by one tablespoon in this recipe. Granulated sugar can be used instead of the grape jelly. The purpose of this ingredient is to temper the acidity in the tomatoes.