venison-sausage stuffed shells for dinner

Thanks to a great Christmas gift from my husband's family, we have had a ziplock bag of fresh venison sausage tucked away in our freezer and a made-from-scratch jar of pasta sauce in the pantry just waiting for the right occasion. Last night, the occasion was upon us. We had already worked out four and five times that week and needed something ooey-gooey and cheesy to reward ourselves with. And so it began.

I had some leftover organic spinach and onions from my co-op box, so I sauteed those up with some garlic. After they cooled, I mixed them with ricotta, egg, parmesan, fresh herbs and seasoning. The hubs cooked and drained the ground venison and added it to the mix. It looked pretty enough to eat on its own, but it needed some red and the ooey-gooey. (I'll neither admit nor deny licking my fingers at this stage of the game.)

I added some red wine to the pasta sauce and brought that up to a simmer. I had forgotten that I had half a block of fresh mozzarella hiding in my cheese drawer (yes, I have a whole drawer dedicated to cheese...) so I used the last of that to top the pasta with, along with the last of my parmesan cheese. Into the oven it went until it was bubbly and golden, and oh-so aromatic.

Now, I have to admit, by the time I got to the gym after work, and did my thing and got home, and then put this together, we were really, really hungry and I forgot to take a picture. But trust me, it was good!

We also had a couple of those little Alexia dinner rolls all toasted up, so we sopped those in an Italian herb spice mix (another Christmas present from a neat local spice shop) and some olive oil. Yummy. And satisfying.

I don't have a recipe to post for this, so if you want to try to repeat it, I think these are about the right proportions. Eyeball what looks right to you, though, just to be on the safe side:
  • ~16 shells
  • 1/2 lb sausage, ground
  • 8 or so slices of fresh mozzarella (I love this stuff because it's much stretchier than the pre-shredded stuff, and you don't need as much)
  • Parmesan
  • Dried or fresh herbs, to taste
  • 12 oz tomato sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta

1 comment:

  1. I don't eat a lot of venison, but this really looks good!