Baked Ziti with Bison Meatballs
Make ahead or refrigerate overnight. Finish in the oven for a richly satisfying meal.
- Prep Time:
- 20 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 1.5 Hours
- 3 large yellow bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ pounds mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into ¼” wide strips
- 2 medium orange bell peppers, cut into ¼” wide strips
- 1 pound ziti
- 8 scallions (green part only), thinly sliced
- 1½ (12oz.) cups freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 lbs. ground bison
- 1 medium onion, diced fine
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp. black pepper, ground
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground basil
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
To make Ziti with Onions and Peppers:
- In a 3-4 quart heavy saucepan, cook yellow peppers, onion, and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are soft, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in cream. In a blender, puree mixture in batches (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. (Sauce may be made 2 days ahead, covered and chilled). Bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.
- In a deep, large heavy skillet, cook mushrooms and peppers in the remaining tablespoon of oil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are softened, and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
- Fill a 6-7 quart kettle three fourths full with salted water, and bring to a boil. Stir in ziti, and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, and drain and rinse ziti well in a colander.
To make Bison Meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, add bison, onion, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, basil, and Worcestershire sauce, and mix well with your hands.
- Form into walnut sized balls, and place on oiled cookie tray, careful not to overcrowd and let the meatballs touch.
- Bake in oven 15 minutes, or until done.
- Into sauce mixture above, stir ziti, mushroom mixture, scallion greens, 1½ cups Parmesan, reserved cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into a large lasagna pan, add bison meatballs, and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup Parmesan.
- Bake ziti in the middle of the oven until hot, and pasta begins to brown, about 20 minutes.