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SANDRA'S MOOSE-MEDITERRANEAN-MEATBALLS and SPAGHETTI

This entree sounds fancy
but it's a breeze to make in about 1/2 hour
with typical on-hand ingredients...


Servings: (6 to 8)
Prep: 15 Mins.
Cook 25 to 30 Mins. (= Total time)

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs:
2 slices wheat bread, left whole
1/2 cup milk
1 lb. ground moose (venison, caribou, elk, beef, poultry, and so on)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
--1/4 cup olive oil (for searing, reserving some after searing meatballs for sauce)

Sauce:
--2 tablespoons drippings (reserved, as stated above)
2 (14.5 oz. cans) diced tomatoes, with juices (do not drain)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2-1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (depending on how spicy you want it -- I like 1 tsp.)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

--1/2 box thin spaghetti, prepared according to package directions

METHOD

Meatballs:
In a small and flat dish, add the bread slices and cover with the milk; set aside to absorb.

In a medium bowl, add the ground moose, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, beaten egg and garlic, use clean hands to mix and  combine. Slightly squeeze a tiny bit of milk off and break the bread into small pieces while adding to the meat mixture. Mix mixture lightly, just to combine, then form into 1" meatballs. (Form all the meatballs prior to cooking to ensure even searing.)

Add the olive oil to a Dutch Oven and set heat to  medium-high. When oil is hot, add the meatballs in 2 separate batches and gently sear on all sides (top, bottom, and around sides of meatballs), about 1 minute on each side, until dark golden brown. Transfer meatballs from Dutch Oven to a plate, using tongs. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pot; reduce heat to medium.

Sauce:
Add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, chili flakes and oregano and stir. Bring to a boil; reduce to a very gentle simmer (so the addition of the meatballs is undisturbed). Using tongs, gently add the meatballs to the pot of sauce in an even layer.  Leave pot uncovered, and let simmer happen very gently to allow sauce to reduce and meatballs to cook through.

Pasta:

Meanwhile, prepare your favorite pasta (I adore thin spaghetti). ~ Enjoy!

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