Venison Bolognese With Penne

Take your tastebuds on a delightful culinary journey to the heart of Italy with this incredible Venison Bolognese with Penne. Bolognese, a signature dish from the city of Bologna, is traditionally made with ground beef, but our variant of the recipe introduces the robust flavours of game meat, making it all the more rich and special. We’re venturing into the world of game with venison, a lean yet richly-flavoured meat that truly elevates the dish.

The Unconventional Star: Venison

Venison, a prime example of game meat, is the star of this dish. It’s lean, packed with protein, and boasts a unique, rich flavour that pairs beautifully with the hearty Bolognese sauce. Venison brings an unexpected but absolutely delightful twist to the classic Bolognese. It’s not your everyday meat, and that’s what makes this dish stand out.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Grab your favourite Dutch oven and let’s get started! Melt a knob of butter (25g) and add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery (70g of each). Cook gently without browning to let these veggies soften and release their natural sweetness. A sprinkle of salt does the trick here, enhancing their flavour without stealing the show.

Next, we toss in the chopped chestnut mushrooms and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste begins to darken. The heady aroma of veggies mingling with tomato paste will fill your kitchen with a scent that’s nothing short of delicious.

Now comes our ground venison (500g). Add it to the pot along with the beef stock (200 ml), and let it simmer gently. The venison will absorb the flavours of the broth and veggies, creating a rich, hearty base for our Bolognese sauce.

After the liquid has mostly evaporated, it’s time to pour in the red wine (120 ml). Let it simmer until it’s mostly evaporated. Then, add the whole milk (120 ml), a pinch of ground nutmeg, and freshly ground black pepper. The addition of milk may seem surprising, but it’s a traditional Bolognese trick to make the sauce incredibly creamy.

While the sauce simmers, cook your penne (300 g). Always remember to salt your pasta water – it should taste like the sea. Once cooked to al dente perfection, drain the pasta and combine it with a generous ladle of the Bolognese sauce.

Plating up the Delish Dish

Serving this dish is as simple as it is satisfying. Portion out the pasta and top each serving with an extra ladle of the Bolognese sauce. Grate over some parmesan cheese (100g should do the trick) and voila! Your Venison Bolognese with Penne is ready.

Venison Bolognese with Penne is more than just a delicious meal, it’s a culinary adventure. It takes you on a journey from your kitchen to the bustling streets of Bologna, with the earthy flavours of game meat adding an extra layer of depth to the classic Italian dish. This delish dish promises a delightful dining experience that’s as heartwarming as it is flavourful. Buon Appetito!

Venison Bolognese With Penne

Avatar photoSpooning & Forking Couple
This venison Bolognese is very different from the real classic in just one way: the choice of meat. Ground venison, not beef, is gently cooked for hours to make it a delicious and tender feast for your guests. Pasta was never so happy. Serve this delicious meal with a full bodied Chianti Classico for the full Italian experience.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 648 kcal



  • In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook gently without browning, stirring often and reducing heat if necessary, until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle a little salt over the vegetables as they cook.
  • When the vegetables have softened, stir in the chopped mushrooms and tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste begins to darken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground mea and the beef stock. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to ever so gently simmer, uncovered and stirring every great once in a while, until the liquid has mostly evaporated, 1 to 2 hours, depending on just how briskly your Bolognese is simmering.
  • Pour in the wine and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the wine has mostly evaporated, 45 to 60 minutes. Add the milk, nutmeg, and black pepper and stir well. Bring back to a simmer and add salt to taste. Simmer gently until thickened, about 30 minutes more.
  • When you add the milk to the sauce, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to make it taste like the sea. Once the sauce has thickened, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it is al dente.
  • To serve, place the pasta in a large bowl and add a healthy ladle overflowing with sauce and gently toss to combine. Portion out the pasta and then top each with another ladle’s worth (or more) of Bolognese sauce. Grate the cheese over the top and serve.


Calories: 648kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 51gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 682mgPotassium: 1048mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3466IUCalcium: 387mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Game, Pasta, Penne, Venison, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

1 comment

Bambi 28 September 2022 - 11:59

5 stars


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