Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Had never heard of Johnny Marzetti until recently stumbling on his recipe in some newspaper website. Actually, research shows Marzetti's Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio was the source of this great comfort food dish back in the 20's (..is it still there?). Have seen ingredients of several versions of this dish here, but none with all these great ingredients. This is an ultimate comfort food that is even better at the second and third sitting. I think that the sausage and Italian cheese blend is key to success of this rendition. Dish is great with a nice green salad.
- 8 ounces rotini pasta (whole wheat)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup celery, sliced fine
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1⁄2 green pepper, minced
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 cups cheese, Italian blend, shredded
- Adjust an oven rack to middle postition. Grease a 13x9 in baking dish and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring 4 qts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tsp salt and cook, stirring often, according to package directions. Drain pasta and transfer to baking dish.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown beef and sausage until no longer pink- drain excess grease. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and 1 tsp salt and cook, stirring ocassionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and 1 tsp pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until flavors are blended, about 5 minute Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, off heat.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese evenly over pasta. Then pour meat mixture on top of this. Then sprinkle reamaining 1 cup of cheese evenly on top of meat mixture.
- Place baking dish on a baking sheet, covering with foil. Bake in the pre-heated oven about 45 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, until top is spotty brown. Cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
We enjoyed this recipe. We made a few small adjustments such as reduced the pasta & increased the beef. Also, 2 cups of cheese is way too much for our tastes & health so we cut it in 1/2. I liked the addition of the vegys & to add abit more flavour I added some essence & jerk spice. Tasty recipe, thanks for sharing.
Tuesday's school lunch was alway something Italian. Johnny Marzetti was the favorite. This recipe is more elegant than the cafeteria served though. I doubt there was such a thing as rotini let alone whole wheat pasta. Ours was made with elbow macaroni and spaghetti meat sauce baked with cheese on top. Substitue the macaroni and it was baked spaghetti. Delish!
This is a terrific recipe--thanks for sharing. It made me feel "nostalgic"--it's a true comfort food! Marzetti's restaurant in Columbus closed in the early 70's--but it lives on in Marzettis coleslaw dressing that you can buy in the grocery store today--they sold their recipe to a major company when they closed.