The Story Behind the Food
I drove to a bluff overlooking the Little Missouri River, climbed in the bed of my pickup, and stood & glassed the valley below. After about 15 minutes, I saw a doe bedded down among the cottonwoods. I assessed the wind, grabbed my pack, and worked down an old fence row that ran parallel with the winding river. With the wind in my face and my profile low, I edged closer and closer until I was directly across and about 150 yards away from the deer. I took my pack off and stood it up in front of me to use as a gun rest. I rested my .270 rifle on top, slid a round in the chamber, and took aim.
I love Italian food. And this recipe for Lasagna Roll Ups is a great option for a quick and easy weeknight meal. I have a small family, so I'll even take 1/2 of the prepared noodles and put them in a small casserole dish and freeze for dinner for a different night. Then I'll only bake the other 1/2 for supper instead of doing an entire 9 X 13 casserole dish as described in the instructions below.
· 10 lasagna noodles
· 1 lb. ground deer, antelope, elk, or beef
· 1 yellow onion, diced
· 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
· 8 ounces mushrooms (optional)
· 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
· 15 ounces ricotta cheese
· 2 cups mozzarella cheese
· 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
· 1 egg
· Fresh or dried oregano
· Fresh or dried basil
· 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook noodles in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions then drain and fill pot with cold water to stop the cooking process and keep noodles from sticking together.
2. In a deep pan like a cast iron skillet or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, cook ground venison until no longer pink (about 2 minutes), breaking up with a spatula. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute. Add marinara sauce, mix well, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat.
3. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce over the bottom of a 9 X 13 casserole dish.
4. In a large bowl, stir together: ricotta, egg, parmesan cheese, just 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, basil and oregano.
5. Arrange cooked lasagna noodles over a large baking sheet in a single layer. Spread 1/4 cup (ice cream scoop) of cheese mixture over the top of each noodle. Add a heaping Tablespoon of meat sauce in a strip down the center of the noodle. Roll noodles up and arrange in the prepared casserole dish.
6. Spread remaining meat sauce over the tops of roll-ups and sprinkle on the remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil, making sure foil isn't touching cheese. Bake covered at 400˚F for 30 minutes. Remove foil and broil another 2-3 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden. Garnish with parsley to serve.