Spaghetti With Bison Meatballs Recipe

Meatballs are traditionally made with three types of meat — beef, pork, or veal — but these leaner, less fussy bison meatballs are so flavourful, they just might become your new favourite. The quality of the red sauce depends largely on the olive oil and tomatoes you use, so get the best you can find. (Canned San Marzano tomatoes are particularly wonderful in this recipe.)


1 lb. ground bison
3/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, finely diced

Red Sauce
One 28-oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes or other top-quality plum tomatoes
One 6-oz. can tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 oz. uncooked spaghetti


Step 1: To make the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the bison, Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix in the egg, garlic, breadcrumbs and milk. Take care not to overwork the mixture or the meatballs will be dense and tough. Gently shape into balls about 1-1/2" in diameter.

Step 2: Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the meatballs and fry in batches until lightly browned on all sides.

Step 3: To make the red spaghetti sauce, when all the meatballs are browned, return them to the wok. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Partially cover the wok and lower the heat to medium. Simmer the sauce and meatballs for 25-30 minutes.

Step 4: Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions and drain.

Step 5: Serve the spaghetti topped with generous ladlefuls of sauce and meatballs and garnish with Parmesan.

See more recipes from Lorna Yee.

Reprinted with permission from Lorna Yee's The Everyday Wok Cookbook (2012 Sasquatch Books).