Wild Boar and Mushroom Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

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I’m not a vegetarian.

I also don’t believe in dietary dogma.  So while I think that humans are best off including some amount of animal product in their diets, I won’t try to push that opinion on someone who chooses to do otherwise. 

The bottom line is that I’m a fan of meat- red meat, white meat, the other white meat- all of the above.  But one thing I’m adamant about is sourcing meat from responsibly raised animals. 

Not everyone is concerned with the welfare of livestock, but most people I know are somewhat interested in feeding their families quality food, and healthy meat comes from happy animals.  And if I were to take a guess, a wild boar feels pretty content with his place in the world.

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I was able to get my hands on some wild boar meat courtesy of Marx Foods, and it has quickly become one of my favorite proteins.  The pork that we eat today was originally domesticated from the wild boar in Asia and Europe, which is naturally leaner and richer tasting.  The original free-ranger, wild boars spend their days trying to satisfy a hefty, piggish appetite by foraging for roots, tubers, and just about anything they can get their greedy snouts into.

All that good eatin’ is accompanied by plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. 

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I was in the mood for a good meatball, so I paired my wild boar up with some earthy flavors and set to it. 

The funny thing about spaghetti and meatballs is that we all associate it with Italian cuisine, while the dish itself is about as American as apple pie.  Lots of cultures have their own version of the meatball, including the Italians, but a big plate of spaghetti piled high with saucy, ball shaped meat is a dish that was actually born stateside.

You won’t see it served in Italy, and if you do, it’s to accommodate tourists who won’t be satisfied until they’ve found it. 

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I love cooking, but even I appreciate a shortcut every now and then.  A homemade pasta sauce really can’t be beat, but when I’m in a hurry I reach for a jar, and the most difficult step is unscrewing the lid.  The trick is finding a sauce with good ingredients, which can be sort of tricky. 

First off, most pasta sauces will inevitably contain added sugar, which I find off-putting and completely unnecessary- not to mention unhealthy. 

Secondly, it’s pretty tough to find a sauce with a high quality oil as an ingredient.  Like the majority of prepackaged foods, canola and soybean oil are the obvious choices for manufacturers due to their low price.  But I choose to avoid these heavily processed oils, and so I have developed a way around that dilemma.

I buy organic, fat-free pasta sauce and then add in my own healthy fats, usually with a generous drizzle of olive oil.

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Because I’m a lipid lover and I cringe when people still talk about trying to eat low-fat, I sort of feel embarrassed buying fat-free sauce.  I’m always hoping the cashier isn’t silently judging me. 

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You start off by browning the wild boar and mushroom meatballs in a bit of olive oil, and finish them off in the oven.  Once they are done, you’re going to have a pan full of delicious drippings, which you should never let go to waste.  Instead, I like to stir it into my sauce, gratifyingly stripping it of its fat-free affirmations. 

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I piled these meatballs over a plate of spiralized zucchini noodles, and I added some sautéed swiss chard to the sauce. 

Pasta sauce is the perfect vehicle for sneaking in extra vegetables, and I always perk up a jarred sauce with something green.

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K had real deal pasta, but since he has been trimming back on the carbs lately, he had half his usual amount twirled around with some of the zoodles. 

A heavy snowfall of parmesan sealed the deal on these wild boar and mushroom meatballs. 

wild boar and mushroom meatballs

And that’s the kind of snow I can appreciate. 

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 Sometimes you just need a good meatball.



9 responses to “Wild Boar and Mushroom Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles”

  1. Made this tonight. First time cooking wild boar. Loved it, it was delish! Thank you for the recipe. It was challenging finding a healthy, non-burger wild boar recipe.

  2. I made this the other night for dinner. My daughters husbands grandfather actually got us a hog. It was delicious. I will definately be making this again. I agree with Stacy its tough finding hog recipes. Thank you for posting this one.

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