As you know, yesterday Bill and I’s third dating anniversary! Since it was such a special occasion and our first regular night at home in more than a week, I decided we needed an extra special dinner in honor of the special day : ) One of Bill’s fellow lacrosse coaches had kindly gifted us with some ground venison from a hunt he’d been on last year, so I decided that it was the perfect base for a fancy dinner treat!
This recipe combines the rich flavors of lean venison, red wine, and beef stock along with the fresh brightness of tomatoes and spinach to create a delicious ragu sauce that envelops and compliments the hearty rigatoni pasta. It was cold and rainy last night, so this was the perfect meal for both celebration and comfort.
I hope that your family can enjoy this tasty and uncommon dinner soon!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground venison
- 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 ounce can, tomato sauce
- 2¼ cups beef stock
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ Tablespoon sage
- ½ Tablespoon oregano
- ½ Tablespoon parsley
- 1 ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes
- 2 cups frozen spinach
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound rigatoni
- Reggiano cheese for garnish
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep saute pan and brown venison till cooked through. Remove browned venison and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil and garlic, sauteeing for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add tomato sauce, beef stock, and wine, and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil.
- Add tomatoes, spinach, sage, oregano, parsley, and brown sugar to the sauce mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer while you cook the pasta to the package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.
- Combine 3 Tablespoons flour with the cooked venison and mix well so the flour coats the meat. Return the browned venison with the flour to the pan and stir. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until thickened.
- Add pasta to the saute pan and combine with the sauce. Top with Reggiano.
Red wine and beef stock combine to create a great depth of flavor with the tomatoes and spinach! If you don’t have easy access to vension, you could easily swap it out for lean ground beef.
Based on recipe from In Sock Monkey Slippers