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  • Writer's pictureNicole Kuhn

Spaghetti & Elk Meatballs

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

A fun play on spaghetti and meatballs, that after trying I realized I may prefer to normal meatballs! If elk isn't your thing, or if it's not available to you, ground beef would substitute perfectly well.






  • 1 pound ground elk

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Salt and pepper


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup beef stock, available on soup aisle in market in small paper boxes

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • A handful chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 10 leaves fresh basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced


  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles

  • Grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, for passing at table


  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.

  • Place a large pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it boils, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente.

  • Mix elk and Worcestershire, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet greased with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake balls 10 to 12 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 140ºF.

  • Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add oil, crushed pepper, garlic and finely chopped onion. Saute 5 to 7 minutes, until onion bits are soft. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

  • Toss hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce and grated cheese. Turn meatballs in remaining sauce. Place pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs and sauce and extra grated cheese.

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