Venison Pasta

venisonpasta1

I have been trying to use all this venison meat in our freezer that was given to us from my brother-in-law. So I have started by thinking of ways to use up ground beef, and then I figured I could just sub in the venison meat. So for those of you that do not have access to venison, or are may be a little hesitant to give it a try, feel free to substitute ground beef, ground turkey, or even ground chicken. All of the above will work out great. This pasta recipe is influenced from hamburger helper. Everyone loves the pasta/meat combo of those boxes, so I just decided to whip up my own version with ingredients I had in my house. It is a little spicy and adding the picante sauce gives it a little Mexican flare. Feel free to use any kind of pasta you wish, but I used campanelle. It’s a great twirly, twisted pasta that held the sauce and meat in all its little grooves.

venisonpasta4

venisonpasta3

Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:
1 pound ground venison (or beef, turkey or chicken)
8 oz. dried pasta
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 Tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth
1 cup milk (I had skim on hand on it worked just fine)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup picante sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. When boiling, throw in some salt and then the pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on box, cooking al dente.
2. In a large pot (I used my dutch oven), cook the meat over medium high heat. Break the meat up and cook until no longer pink about 10 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
3. Over medium heat, melt the butter in the dutch oven. Add the flour and stir. Cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth until the flour mixture is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. I have found if the milk and broth are room temperature, or even warm, the process of thickening is much quicker. You can tell the sauce is thickening when it leaves a coating on the back of a wooden spoon.
4. When the sauce has thickened slightly, add in the cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and picante sauce. Stir until the cheese is melted. Return the meat to the pot and stir in the pasta as well. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and stir until melted.

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