This dish is going to take you about 20 minutes to prepare, and maybe an hour to cook. It’s super easy to make and is a great family meal that can be re-used as leftovers the following night.
As an alternative use pre-made meatballs. Replace the celery with leek. Work through to the end of Step 4. Then put the meatballs and sauce into a large casserole dish and cook in a slowish oven at around 150 degrees celcius.
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced venison
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp plain flour
Instead of making your own venison meatballs, with the ingredients above, there are many fabulous producers of pre-made meatballs that will do just as well. And, it cuts down on preparation time. I used meatballs from Woodburn Venison – you can find their products at any good food-store.
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as thyme and parsley
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 340 g (12 oz) spaghetti
- salt and pepper
- shredded fresh basil to garnish
- Red wine sauce
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 55 g (2 oz) mushrooms, chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) red wine
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) beef stock
- 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
- 1 bouquet garni
- Mix together the venison, chopped onion, egg, flour and herbs until well combined or use your pre-made meatballs. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 28 portions. Lightly flour your hands, then roll the portions into neat balls.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan or flameproof casserole and fry the meatballs, rolling them gently from time to time, for 8–10 minutes or until they are browned all over. (Brown the meatballs in batches, if necessary.) Use a draining spoon to remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside.
- For the sauce, add the onion, red pepper, mushrooms, celery and garlic to the juices in the frying pan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the red wine and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add the stock, tomatoes with their juice, and the bouquet garni to the pan and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Return the meatballs to the pan and turn them over in the sauce. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain well.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Discard the bouquet garni. Divide the spaghetti among 4 serving plates or bowls and top with the meatballs and sauce. Garnish with shredded basil and serve immediately.
Damn fine dish. Enjoy!