Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Johnny Marzetti

Before I EVER knew about Baked Ziti, there was Johnny Marzetti.  It must be  because I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where the Marzetti restaurant was located.  According to Jean Anderson, in her The American Century Cookbook, The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, she says that Johnny Marzetti was a 1950's/early 1960's party favorite casserole.  The actual  Johnny Marzetti is the brother of the owner of the Marzetti Restaurant and the recipe was created in the 1920's.  I used to make this quite often when my kids were growing up.  Here's how I do it:

2 T. oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 pound ground beef
1 jar of Marina sauce
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 box of pasta, par-cooked (I like the Dreamfields, low carb pasta)

In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the chopped onion and cook until it is translucent.  Add the mushrooms and cook until juices are released and evaporated. add beef and cook, breaking up clumps, until no longer red.  Turn off heat and add the sauce and 1 cup of the cheese.  Add the partially cooked pasta (it will continue to cook in the oven) and toss.

Transfer the mixture to a baking dish.  Scatter the remaining cup of cheese on top.

Bake, uncovered until browned and bubbling, about 35-40 minutes. 

NOTE:  If you prefer, use mozzarella cheese instead of the cheddar.

I am sharing with:

Mix It Up Monday
On the Menu Monday
Make It Pretty Monday
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
Cowgirl Up
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday
Potpourri Friday
Food on Friday
Weekend Potluck
Seasonal Sundays


  1. The cheddar really makes this different! Sounds like a hearty fall meal:@)

  2. Kitty, I still make this once in a while. My recipe is a little different than yours though. I use tomato sauce and pasta bows. My kids loved it growing up!


  3. Sounds really great! I've never tried it, although I have heard of it.

  4. Your pasta looks so good!....Christine

  5. I forwarded this to my husband so he can try it. I love Italian food and as he is a newbie at cooking this sounds easy for him to try.

  6. Kitty, I'm thinking of making this for our girls "glamping" trip next weekend. I always forget about the low-carb pasta, but I'll try that also. Sounds wonderful!

  7. Oh yum Kitty! This looks delicious! I love baked ziti, and your recipe looks like it is even better.
    Thanks so much for sharing it.

  8. Looks delicious and I always love new ground beef recipes.. Thanks for sharing... I'm sending this one to my hubby in Japan... He'll love it ... Hugs

  9. I'm going to make this for the Garden Friends! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Cherry Kay

  10. Yumm! I'm going to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. Never heard of Johnny Marzetti casserole but it sounds like a recipe my family would love. I've saved it and plan to make it soon. Thanks for sharing.


  12. Hi Kitty,
    This looks like a great recipe, just perfect for this fall weather we will be having. Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. I can't wait to see you, I'm exited!!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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