Johnny Marzetti: My Way

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I recently found the original recipe for Johnny Marzetti online, and I was surprised to see that it featured lots of cheese. I don’t recall seeing any cheese in the version I ate at school back in the late 70’s to early 90’s. Since I love cheese, I thought I’d try making the original, but I just don’t like the idea of making any dish with a pound and a half of cheese. That may be too much of a good thing, so I reduced the cheese and doubled the mushrooms.

Serves 12

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 lb dry elbow macaroni
  • 1 t seasoned salt
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 14 oz jar or 15 oz can traditional pasta sauce
  • 12 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 5 oz shredded parmesan, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 13″x9″ casserole dishes with cooking spray. Toss mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper in one of the casserole dishes and place in oven. Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain. While macaroni is cooking, brown ground beef with onion and seasoned salt in dutch oven, drain fat. By this time, the mushrooms should be ready to come out of the oven. Combine tomato sauce, pasta sauce, macaroni, mushrooms, and ground beef mixture in dutch oven. Stir in 2 cups cheddar and half the parmesan. Pour half of the contents of the dutch oven into each of the two casserole dishes. Sprinkle each equally with the remaining cheese, oregano, and parsley. Cook in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cheese is nicely browned.

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