I think that I have bipolar food disorder. One day I feel exotic and experimental and the next day all I want is comfort food. For comfort food I either head towards mashed potatoes and gravy (with a side of fried chicken) or a rib-sticking pasta something with a tomato sauce something. Today I needed a rib-sticking pasta something with a tomato sauce something. Kinda strange the way that works.
For some reason Johnny Marzetti popped into my head. I haven’t made it in years, so I Googled it and found a few bazillion recipes for it, no two alike. For a brief history of this 1920’s casserole, see this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The staples of this casserole consist of ground beef, onions, a tomato sauce, pasta, and cheese. Tomato soup and cream of mushroom soup appear frequently in Johnny Marzetti recipes as do various combinations of green peppers, celery, and mushrooms. Some of you may be throwing up a little in your mouth thinking about the addition of canned soups to anything except the trashcan and may secretly blame the use of them for early onset Alzheimer’s, but they have their place in the American food culture of the 1950’s, ’60’s, and 70’s.
Below is my own version of Johnny Marzetti and tonight when I got home from work it tasted mighty good. I hope that you’ll give it a try.