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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Italian Venison Fusilli

My husband spent a week in November at hunt camp in the Muskoka Region of Ontario.  A fun time was had by all!  They got two doe that were cleaned, cut and wrapped before they left.  Everyone brought home a bit of venison, a much welcomed addition in our freezer.  Venison is a rich, flavourful red meat that can be used in place of beef for most dishes.  It is a healthier option, well for those counting calories.  Venison is lower in calories (102 cal/3 oz), lower in sodium (42 mg/3 oz), lower in fat (2.8 g/3 oz) and lower in cholesterol (72 mg/3 oz) than beef (3 oz: 162 cal, 56 mg sodium, 5.8 g fat, 76 mg cholesterol).  It is, however, lower in protein at 19.2 g per 3 oz verses 25.8 g per 2 oz of beef.  Venison should be served hot because what fat there is has a slightly unpleasant mouth feel when cold.  For that reason, venison is often cooked with pork fat.

Italian venison sauce cooking
I used home canned Italian Garden Sauce with Mushrooms to make a delicious venison sauce for pasta.  This is a must have staple sauce in our pantry, one I created a couple of years ago then tweaked in small batches until it met my specifications. 

I lightly seared the venison pieces then poured in a 750 ml jar of Italian garden sauce with mushrooms.  I brought the mixture to a boil then reduced to a simmer.  I let the mixture simmer until the venison pieces were cooked through and tender.  While the venison sauce was simmering I cooked tri-colour fusilli to al dente then drained.

Italian Venison Fusilli
I topped the tri-colour fusilli with a generous scoop of the venison sauce along with fresh grape tomatoes, green peppers and chopped onions for Italian Venison Fusilli.  This entrée was low calorie and low fat, yet tasty and filling. 

A serving size of tri-colour fusilli is 2 oz dry which gives a yield of 255 g/9 oz cooked [210 cal. 7 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 25 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol].  Plain wheat fusilli does not have any fiber so the tri-colour is a healthier choice as is whole wheat fusilli.  If counting calories, it is best to weight out the cooked pasta for the proper serving size.  I often add fresh vegetables over pasta sauces.  They add a nice texture, complimenting the flavour of a wide variety of sauces while adding extra nutrition. 

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