Ground moose makes fantastic meatballs, and a bit of ground pork helps maintain moisture, so the meat is firm after cooking. Fresh mozzarella balls make the perfect center for each meatball. When baked perfectly, the cheese will completely melt, leaving the meat moist and flavorful. Make sure to seal up the meatballs, so the cheese does not ooze out. The meatballs are the star of this dish, so use larger pasta and your favorite tomato sauce to complete.
• 1½ lbs. ground moose or other venison
• ½ lb. regular ground pork
• ⅔ cup milk
• 1 cup breadcrumbs
• 2 eggs
• 1 Tbsp salt
• 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
• 1 Tbsp onion powder
• 1 Tbsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp ground basil
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
• 1 lb. fresh 1-inch mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
• 1 lb. dried spaghetti or pasta
• 2 jars pasta sauce with herbs and cheese (Italian gravy)
• grated parmesan cheese for garnish
• parsley, finely chopped for garnish
1. Combine the moose, pork, milk, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, onion, garlic and parmesan in a large bowl. Mix to blend the ingredients.
2. Fill the palm of your hand with the meat mixture and press flat into a patty. Push your thumb in the center of the patty and place the mozzarella ball in the impression. Carefully wrap the patty around the mozzarella ball and form it into a round meatball. The meatballs will be 1½ to 2 inches in diameter.
3. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet into an oven preheated to 400°F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Prepare the pasta as instructed on the box.
5. In a large saucepan, heat the tomato-based pasta sauce to a rolling simmer.
6. Plate a serving of pasta, place two meatballs and cover with sauce. Serve hot and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
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