Johnny Marzetti (Baked Pasta Casserole)
Johnny Marzetti is a cheesy, baked pasta casserole with ground beef and tomato sauce. It's an American home cooking favorite and that pretty much everyone loves. My family had all the time when I was in junior high and high school. I was so surprised when I learned Johnny Marzetti came from my home state of Ohio! I included how to make a simple tomato sauce here, but you can use store bought too.
Background: It originally came from the Marzetti Italian restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, which was super popular in the early 1900s. Everyone loved Johnny Marzetti so much it became a staple meal at home, in school cafeterias and even the military! This recipe is based on the original by the owner Teresa Marzetti that was saved by the Ohio Historical Society.
- Ground beef, loose sausage or mix (About 1 lb | 450 g)
- Onion (1 medium)
- Mushrooms (8 oz | about 225 g)
- Green bell pepper (optional) (1)
- Macaroni or other pasta (8 oz | 250 g)
- Shredded cheese (I used cheddar and mozzarella mix) (Around 8 oz | 220-240 g )
- TOMATO SAUCE (Sub a jar of store bought if you like)
- Canned tomatoes (1 can (14 oz/400 g))
- Garlic (2-3 cloves)
- Italian herbs (oregano, basil, etc) (1-2 tsp dried, or handful fresh)
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Olive oil
For a simple, homemade tomato sauce:
Saute garlic in some olive oil until fragrant. Add a can of tomatoes and sprinkle in a teaspoon or two of Italian herbs.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste. If it seems a little acidic, add a teaspoon or two of sugar.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients: Chop the onion and bell pepper, and slice the mushrooms.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Boil pasta and drain.
Sauté onion in oil until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and fry until juices are released, about 5 minutes. If using the green peppers, saute them along with the mushrooms too.
Add beef and cook, stirring, breaking up clumps, until no longer red.
Remove from heat and mix in tomato sauce and all but about 1/2 cup of cheese (you need some to top the casserole).
Transfer to a large, greased baking dish and add pasta. Toss gently to mix. Scatter remaining cheese on top.
Bake, uncovered, until browned and bubbling (30 - 35 minutes).
Done! Dish out and enjoy!!
Now you made it, don't forget to take a Cooksnap photo to upload below! Recipe authors always LOVE to hear from you and see how their recipe turned out in your kitchen.