Venison Meatballs with Pesto Pasta

Venison Meatball and Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe_Natalie Paramore

I can’t believe how rainy it’s been this June! I can’t complain because I’ll take any relief from the summer heat. These rainy nights those have had me wanting to stay in and curl up with some comfort food. Instead of rushing off to the grocery store, I rummaged through our freezer and picked some fresh herbs for this meal! Needless to say, this rain has my garden going crazy and I’ve been using that as an excuse to put pesto on just about anything. I use the term pesto very loosely. This actually might not be a pesto at all, since I skip the cheese and nuts, and opt for super fragrant herbs! It adds a ton of flavor without all the calories. I’ll change up this recipe for whatever is in season: spinach, arugula, oregano, jalapeños, basil, cilantro… whatever I can get my hands on!

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Garden Basil Bucatini with Parmigiano Reggiano

Garden Basil Bucatini with Parmesan_By Natalie ParamoreWhat better simple pleasure is there than a fine cheese? Well if you’re me, not much! Truly, I can make an entire meal out of cheese and it’s practically a major food group in my diet. BMW doesn’t consider it a meal unless there’s meat involved and I sorta feel the same way about cheese. Ok maybe not every meal but you know what I’m sayin! I usually find just about any excuse to add a sprinkle here or there to juuuuuust about anything haha.

This recipe came about after a few things happened. First, I attended this amazing cheese event with Parmigiano Reggiano. Yes! There is actually a whole entire consorzio over in Italy dedicated to Parmesan! Not to be confused with the green bottle of ’90’s childhoods but actual real, delicious parmesan. The event was hosted by Parmigiano Reggiano at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop with local chef extrodianire Drew Curren of Italic, Easy Tiger, 24 Diner, arro and soon to be Irene’s. At the event we tasted three different types of parmesan and they walked us through the differences in each. It can’t be called Parmigiano Reggiano unless it’s been aged for at least 12 months and has the official dotted rind, so look for that when you’re shopping. We got to taste the milder 14 month cheese which is hard to find in the US simply because after it ages for hard to get here in time to be sold as a 14 month. The 24 month is the most common and middle of the road perfect for everything cheese and the 36 month is a bolder, stinker cheese that can add that distinct flavor to any dish! 

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