Recipe: Earl’s River Camp Baked Venison Ziti

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This Baked Venison Ziti recipe comes to us from Earl Peterson, father of WTA’s CEO Mark Peterson. It looks like the perfect meal for this holiday season when you’re short on time but still want to feed your family something wholesome. Try this as a Christmas Eve dinner. We promise your family will love it!

Ingredients:

1. 1 pound of Ziti pasta
2. 2 pounds of ground venison or (preferred) 1 pound of ground venison and 1 pound of ground Italian sausage (wild boar Italian Sausage works great!)
3. 2 jars (24 oz.) of Newman’s Own Italian Sausage & Pepper Pasta Sauce
4. 1 large sweet onion, chopped
5. 15 oz. of Ricotta Cheese
6. 6 oz. of Provolone cheese, sliced
7. 6 oz. of Mozzarella cheese, shredded
8. 2 oz. of Parmesan cheese, grated
9. 4 oz. of fresh mushrooms, sliced
10. 1/2 or full tablespoon of minced garlic
11. Salt and Pepper
12. Hot Pepper Flakes.

Instructions:

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, using olive oil and pepper, brown onion and minced garlic. Set aside.
3. In the same skillet, using olive oil and pepper, saute mushrooms. Set aside.
4. In same skillet, using olive oil, salt and pepper, brown venison burger or brown venison burger/Italian sausage combo. Add hot pepper flakes as desired. After browning, add pasta sauce, previously set aside onions/minced garlic and mushrooms. Simmer for 15 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from heat.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Butter baking dish, preferred size is 10″ x 15″.
7. Layer baking dish as follows:

  • 1/2 of ziti
  • Slices of Provolone cheese
  • 1/2 of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 of Sauce/meat mixture
  • Remaining ziti
  • 1/2 of Ricotta cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Remaining Sauce/meat mix
  • Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top
  • Cover baking dish with tin foil, dull side up.

8. Bake in oven for 30 minutes until all cheese is melted. Serves about 8.

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