Johnny Marzetti Recipe
What is Johnny Marzetti?
Johnny Marzetti is a pasta dish with ground meat in a tomato sauce, served over noodles and covered with cheese. The recipe originated at the Marzetti Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio in the 1920s. The adaptability of the Johnny Marzetti recipe no doubt gave rise to its developing popularity during the Great Depression. By World War II, Johnny Marzetti had spread as far as Texas and the Panama Canal.
Baby boomers who grew up in Ohio will recognize Marzetti from their school cafeteria menus. Others will know this dish by different names, such as goulash, hot dish or baked spaghetti.
This Great Depression recipe was in my Aunt Susy's collection. It serves 14 people, so either invite a crowd or count on plenty of leftovers!
Arturo Sauce for Johnny Marzetti
Arturo sauce makes all the difference in this recipe. It is very hard to find in the stores, but you can order it from Amazon and have it delivered to your door. Try it in place of tomato sauce in your other favorite recipes. You will be amazed at what it does to your food!
Johnny Marzetti Recipe
Johnny Marzetti Recipe
Start by preparing 12 ounces of broad egg noodles according to package. If you do not have egg noodles, substitute whatever pasta you have on hand: spaghetti, shells, macaroni, fettuccine.
While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork (this recipe specifies ground pork shoulder)
Brown the meat, then mix in the following ingredients and cook five minutes.
- 2 cups chopped green pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 can mushrooms & juice (6 ounces)
- 1/3 cup green olives
- 1 can tomato soup
- 3 small cans tomato sauce
After the sauce has cooked for five minutes, mix in the pasta, then cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.
At the end of the hour, remove from oven, cover with 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Return to oven without cover until cheese is melted.
Johnny Marzetti Poll I
Do you recall this dish from your childhood (known perhaps by a different name)?
Other Versions of the Johnny Marzetti Recipe
Johnny Marzetti is a very flexible recipe, and the dish seems to have taken on a life of its own as mothers across Ohio adapted it to use what they had on hand. From grandmothers who made the sauce using only ketchup and brown sugar, to moms who used this dish to clean out the refrigerator, it seems this is one adaptable casserole!
Check out some of these versions!
- Johnny Machete? Johnny Marzetti? Just call it delicious | The Kitchen Illiterate
This blogger tracked down this dish after hearing something called Johnny Machete on Gilmore Girls. This version adds cream of mushroom soup. Comments section is interesting too.
- Johnny Marzetti | Best Room in the House
Several versions here, including a recipe for Arturo Sauce called for in some Johnny Marzetti recipes.
- Recipe Finder: Origin of Johnny Marzetti pasta casserole legendary | The Commercial Appeal
Lists all of the possible substitutions along with a basic recipe.
- Johnny Marzetti | The Sneaky Kitchen
A good basic recipe for Johnny Marzetti, using just 1 1/2 lbs. of meat. Also lists a few substitutions.
More Johnny Marzetti & Other Italian-American Dishes
If you love Johnny Marzetti, you must check out this cookbook full of delicious recipes in the Italian-American tradition.
250 tested recipes from Italian restaurants and the kitchens of Italian-American grandmothers. Great reviews!
Johnny Marzetti Recipe in Best of Ohio Cookbook
If you hunger for the traditional recipes of Ohio, then this is the cookbook for you. Over 300 recipes are included.
From Cincinnati Chili to Johnny Marzetti, all of these recipes are delicious and easy to prepare.
Frugal Meals for A Crowd - Johnny Marzetti & much more
Feeding a crowd just got a lot more economical and healthier too! This cookbook tells you how to make food for a potluck or church supper for under $3 a serving.
See this author's other books on $3 meals! That's less than a burger from a fast food joint and faster than pizza delivery. A lot healthier too! Buy three in a bundle and save!
How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce - for your Johnny Marzetti recipe
If you do not want to used canned tomato sauce in your Johnny Marzetti, you might consider making your own from fresh tomatoes. Here Clara shows us how they made tomato sauce during the Great Depression.
A Vintage Baking Dish for Your Johnny Marzetti
A Vintage Baking Dish for Your Johnny Marzetti - A casserole dish like Grandma's
Serve your Johnny Marzetti in a casserole dish like Grandma's for even more nostalgia and authenticity!
Serve Your Side Dishes in a Vintage Casserole Dish
What will you serve in this adorable 700 ml (about 3 cups) Corningware casserole dish? These casseroles were around when I was growing up in the 1970s. This dish is too small to serve your Johnny Marzetti, but is perfect for some sides. Baked apples, steamed corn or broccoli, green beans. What will you serve in yours?
An authentic vintage casserole like the one Mom had. This is no longer available new, but several Amazon sellers have it for sale.
Johnny Marzetti Poll II
What do you call this dish?
Did your mom or grandma serve this dish? Did you call it Johnny Marzetti or something else? Do you remember this from your school lunchroom? What ingredients were used? Do you make it for your family?
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