Everyone has that dish that they always order when they find it on a menu – and for the lovely man that keeps my freezer well stocked with beautiful wild game, that dish is baked spaghetti. To be honest, baked spaghetti makes me think of some sort of scrambled lasagna. Or maybe an easier stand-in for those nights when you want lasagna, but don’t want to put in all that effort.
Whatever the case, this baked spaghetti is simple and cheesy and studded with just a few greens that get lovely and soft when the pan goes in the oven.

Baked spaghetti with bison

Baked spaghetti with bison

This can easily be made a day or two ahead, which makes it great for a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 500 g fettuccine
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds ground bison
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (796 mL)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 container ricotta (454 g)
  • 1 cup grated fresh mozzarella

Instructions

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook fettuccine according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water then drain the pasta. Place pasta back in cooking pot and add 2 tablespoons of butter and toss until pasta is coated.
    2. Set the oven at 350ºF. In an ovenproof skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Once the onions are soft add ground bison and cook until brown, then add crushed tomatoes, oregano and thyme and bring to a simmer and add reserved pasta water and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Add tomato sauce to the pasta and toss until the pasta is coated, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Toss pasta with baby spinach then place mixture back in the ovenproof skillet. Top the pasta with ricotta, then grated mozzarella cheese and place in the oven for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Notes

Chopped onions and garlic

Simmer the sauce

Butter helps to prevent the pasta from sticking

Add some spinach

Top with cheese

https://whatsupyukon.com/yukon-lifestyle/harvest/bicycle-bison-hunt/