Johnny Marzetti…a born guest.

Johnny Marzetti is a real crowd pleaser.  His appearance will make your next pot luck or picnic the hit of the summer season!

Don’t know Johnny Marzetti?  To know him is to love him.  Johnny Marzetti is an Italian dish created in Marzetti’s restaurant in 1896 in Columbus, Ohio.  It is a simple and delicious casserole that will replace that same old baked ziti as your “go to” contribution to any get-together.  It’s that easy and that delicious.


The ingredients are easy to get at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market.  Butter, ground beef, and shredded cheddar cheese from Hillacres Pride.Crimini Mushrooms from Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms, onions from Formisano Farms, canned Jersey tomatoes from Flaim Farms (I think in season, fresh crush Jersey tomatoes would be fantastic!), pasta from Villa Barone.


3 tablespoons of olive oil (or butter if using grass fed beef as we are here).
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 pound of crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 lbs. ground beef (you could use bison or even ground turkey)
1 twenty-eight ounce can of crushed tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 pounds of cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound of pasta, cooked and drained


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook pasta.IMG_5233
  3. Set a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add oil and onions and saute until onions are translucent (about 3 to 5 minutes).  Add mushrooms and saute until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add beef (bison or turkey) and saute until it begins to brown, breaking any lumps (about 7 to 10 minutes).
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in crushed tomatoes and their juice.
  5. Add all but 1 cup cheese.
  6. Transfer to a 10 x 15 inch baking dish.
  7. Add cooked pasta.  Mix gently.IMG_5241
  8. Scatter remaining cheese on top.IMG_5246
  9. Bake until cheese topping is browned and bubbling (about 35 – 40 minutes).  Serve.




Johnny Marzetti is a born guest! And one of my favorites.

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