I got some venison sausage from my brother in law Kent while home over Thanksgiving. It mixed in wonderfully with this baked ziti recipe I found off of Bon Appetite. I skipped out on the pork butt and couldn’t find any pancetta at my local grocery store, but I made do and it turned out well.
5 slices of bacon, diced
1 pound hot venison sausage
2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
dried thyme, about 1 T
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cups dry red wine
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in juice, tomatoes chopped, juice reserved 1 1/4 pounds ziti pasta
2 cups (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot, cook bacon until crisp. Take out and cook the sausage in the same pan. After browned, add all the vegetables and spices and cook on low for about 10 minutes until soft. Add bacon back in. Add wine and scrap up any bits on the pan. Turn heat to high and boil. Add tomatoes after dicing, along with juices. Continue cooking on high heat for about 5-10 minutes, until the sauce reduces a bit.
Boil water and cook the pasta. In a 15 by 10 inch dish, mix the sauce with the pasta and top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Notes: It didn’t need that much cheese on top, but other than that it was great. Maybe add more crushed red pepper for a little more of a kick.
Servings: A lot. It served 5 tonight with over half of the pan left over. 10+ servings!