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Venison Ziti

Ground venison lends itself to incredibly varied uses - meat pies, burgers, soups, meatloaf, and lots of ethnic dishes. In fact, you can use it in most dishes we normally associate with ground beef. Here's a traditional Italian dish which, when served with a salad and bread, makes a fine meal.

1 pound ground venison

1/4-1/2 pound bulk venison sausage

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 1/2 cups meatless spaghetti sauce

1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

16 ounces ziti, cooked and drained

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté ground venison, sausage, onions and garlic for six to eight minutes until venison is browned. Stir in spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, oregano and parsley. Reduce heat; simmer 10-15 minutes. Stir one cup of sauce into cooked ziti. Spoon half the ziti mixture into 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/2 Parmesan cheese. Top with two cups sauce, then remaining ziti mixture and sauce. Cover and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 10 minutes longer or until heated through, cheese has melted and ziti is bubbly.

TIP: Try adding a cup of ricotta cheese in the center for a bit of a different taste and texture.

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