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Wild Boar / Wild Boar Baked Ziti

Delicious Baked Ziti With Wild Boar & Elk Meatballs

Delicious Baked Ziti With Wild Boar & Elk Meatballs

This baked ziti with meatballs is cheesy, full of flavor and also really easy to prepare. The meatballs can easily be made in advance, or just use leftover meatballs if you have some on hand. Extra meatballs can be frozen or used for meal prep, so making a big batch definitely has its perks. I chose to combine elk and wild boar. Wild boar has a higher fat content to balance the lean elk meat, making a tender and juicy meatball with amazing flavor when the two combine. There’s nothing like gooey, cheesy baked ziti with meatballs straight out of the oven when it comes to comfort food.


Also Read: Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew) With Wild Boar & Bison


Delicious Baked Ziti With Wild Boar & Elk Meatballs - Beck & Bulow

Elk That’s Raised The Way Nature Intended


Our elk live completely free range, roaming huge expanses of land on family owned ranches. We source from two locations, one being the Rocky Mountains of the United States. The other source that fit our strict quality standards was an elk ranch in the pristine mountain valleys of New Zealand. They wander as they please, grazing and foraging as they engage in all of their natural instinctive behaviors. As with all of our meat, these animals are never administered hormones, antibiotics or steroids of any kind. Elk is some of the most delicious and healthy meat you can eat, considered by many to be the most heart healthy meat in existence. Chefs love using our elk meat for its delicate flavor and tender texture.


The Best Tasting Wild Boar You’ve Ever Had


People are always asking us about the best ways to eat wild boar. If you’re used to eating pork, the nutty and delicious flavor of wild boar meat will blow your mind. It’s so much more flavorful and satisfying than conventional pork. Customers tell us all the time that they find themselves unable to go back to eating conventional pork after trying out this meat.


Also Read: Lunch Recipe: Greek Souvlaki With Wild Boar Tenderloin


In addition to the unbeatable flavor, wild boar meat offers a multitude of health benefits that really outshine conventional pork. It’s lower in total fat and calories while offering more omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. We are big believers in the advantages of eating wild meat and the nutritional profile of wild boar is a perfect example of this. Our wild boar meat is unparalleled in flavor because we work with small-scale, species specific master butchers who know how to properly process this meat.


Delicious Baked Ziti With Wild Boar & Elk Meatballs - Beck & Bulow

Ingredients:


For the meatballs (this will make extra):



  • 1 lb ground wild boar meat
  • 1 lb ground elk meat
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Also Read: Homemade Pot Stickers With Chinese Five Spice Ground Elk


For the sauce:



  • 1 can diced tomatoes and liquid
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups water

For the ziti:

  • ½ lb ziti pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil for garnish
Delicious Baked Ziti With Wild Boar & Elk Meatballs - Beck & Bulow

Instructions:


Note: This will make lots of extra meatballs to freeze or enjoy later. The meatballs can be made in advance if desired, or reduce the recipe. Only ½ lb meatballs total are needed for the baked ziti.



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, sauté the onion over medium heat until translucent, golden brown and flavorful. Set aside to cool slightly. If making the ziti directly following the meatballs, sauté all of the onion for that portion of the recipe as well.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs, including the onions, together in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix just until combined.
  4. Form into meatballs, about 1 ½ inches in diameter.
  5. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven, in batches if necessary. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Wild boar should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also Read: Incredibly Delicious Bison & Elk Sloppy Joes Recipe


To make the ziti:



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish.
  2. Sauté the onions in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until golden brown and translucent (if this step hasn’t already been completed with the meatballs). Set aside.
  3. Combine the tomatoes, tomato paste and seasonings in a saucepan with the 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked onions and remove from heat.
  4. Add one cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish, spreading to make an even layer. Add half of the uncooked ziti pasta in a layer on top, followed by another cup of sauce.
  5. Add meatballs on top, followed by half of the mozzarella cheese. Spread another cup of sauce over the cheese, followed by the rest of the pasta, followed by the rest of the sauce.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and add the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes to finish.
  7. Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh basil. Enjoy!
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