Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Since I am really only cooking for one most of the time during the winter due to Joe’s work hours, I often find myself with leftovers to eat. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal that takes only about 15 minutes to prepare and makes fantastic leftovers that you won’t mind having around the house. Please note that this recipe can be doubled easily for a family of four. I made this recipe with the thawed ground elk meat that had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed to be used up. This is a basic sauce because tomato puree was all I had on hand, and it turned out good for this recipe. As an alternative, this spaghetti sauce recipe is a favorite of mine if I have a little time to spare and the ingredients it requires.

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Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Yield: (3) 1- cup servings

  • 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini (I used Great Value brand)
  • 1/2 lb. ground wild game
  • 1 1/2 c (12 oz.) tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Italian Blend or mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Seasoning:

  • Italian seasoning
  • Basil
  • Garlic salt
  • Season salt
  • Black pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano

1. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and brown ground meat with diced onion. Meanwhile, start water boiling in a medium pot for the tortellini.

2. Liberally season meat mixture by shaking in Italian seasoning (about 1 T.), and basil, garlic salt, season salt, black pepper, onion powder, and oregano in smaller batches (about 1/2 tsp.) until you achieve your desired taste.

3. As meat browns, crumble with a wooden spoon and add in tomato puree and half of the parmesan cheese (1/4 cup).

4. Simmer meat and sauce on LOW heat until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.   Taste and add more spices if desired.

5. Measure out 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini and boil for 3 minues until pasta in tender.

6. Drain pasta, rinse, and pour into frying pan with meat and sauce mixture.

7. Stir gently to combine. Top pasta with Italian blend shredded cheese (or mozzerella) and remaining 1/4 c parmesan cheese.

8. Serve immediately.

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Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

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I have been wanting to make this recipe for the past few weeks since I came across it on Pinterest, and tonight was the night. This dish is a winner and I will definately be  making it again. The original recipe uses turkey sausage, and can be found over at Kevin and Amanda’s blog. I made a couple tweaks and  followed the recipe using venison bratwurst made with my deer last year. The brats were made with a sausage kit and have hash browns and onion mixed in with the venison to add flavor. This pasta was delicious but it does pack some heat, but nothing overwhelming as long as you stick with the mild Rotel. I was skeptical about using the entire can, but am glad I did. If you don’t like some spice, this is not for you : )

Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

  • (2) venison bratwurst
  • 1  1/3 c uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 can Rotel, mild (10 oz.)
  • 1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
  • 1/2 c Half and Half ( I use fat-free)
  • 1 c. Three Pepper Cheese= colby jack
  • 1 c. diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 T. diced Green onion
  • 1 T. olive oil

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1. Pour 1 T. olive oil in medium saucepan and saute diced onion and garlic with brats. I kept my brats whole at this point, as in the past when I have sliced them into round pieces first, they have gotten burnt and chewy.

2. Once onions/garlic are tender (3-4 minutes), remove from pan and set aside. At this point, the brats should be expanding and beginning to brown.

3. Now it is safe to slice brats into 1/4-inch round pieces and return to frying pan. Add about 1/3 c water to pan so that brats continue to cook for 7-10 more minutes without burning.

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4. Add onions/garlic back into pan, along with the can of Rotel, can of chicken broth, half and half, and pasta, salt and pepper, and allow to rise to a low boil. Your half and half will curdle slightly and then combine into the mixture–I was worried at first adding the cream here, but it turned out fine.

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5. Keep at a low boil until pasta is tender, about 8 minutes.

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6. Remove from heat, sprinkle with 1 c. cheese, and cover with lid to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with green onion* and enjoy!

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*Garden Tip!! Green Onions can be diced and the extra can be frozen in an empty plastic water bottle so that when you need just a sprinkle, you can pour the onions out frozen and be on your way with zero waste! I used green onion left from our garden this summer in this dish.