Summer Johnny Marzetti

Grandma never made this Ohioan recipe as a casserole, so this is mostly a summer dish for us.

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This pasta recipe is a spin-off of spaghetti Bolognese, and a quick favorite.  As long as our own canned tomato sauce lasts, I use it instead of the crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices listed below.  The recipe will feed a family of five unless you are raising young hobbits.  Serve with green beans and salad on the side.  If you are avoiding carbs, substitute pasta for spaghetti squash or sauteed cabbage (see below).

Johnny Marzetti

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, each 30 oz or thereabouts
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • lots of oregano and basil, dried or fresh, pepper and salt to taste
  • red wine to taste
  • 2 lbs bulk maple sausage
  • 3 cups of elbow macaroni

Directions

  • Use crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices to make a tomato sauce.
  • Brown the sausage until cooked.  Add sausage to sauce.
  • Add red wine to the skillet you browned the sausage in, boil for a moment and scrape the skillet bottom.  Pour into the sauce.  Let sauce simmer.
  • Cook pasta according to directions.
  • Serve with grated cheese, Parmesan or otherwise.

 

Variations

Any thick-ish pasta will be fine with this, and if it is cold outside, you can turn it all into a casserole, too, which is what most people make when they prepare Johnny Marzetti.  Just mix pasta and sauce, top with cheese and and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350F, or until the cheese is bubbly.

If you are using spaghetti squash instead of pasta, bake squash halves upside down in the oven on a baking sheet with a little water on it, at 300 F until it is soft.  Time depends on the size of your squash.

If you use cabbage instead of pasta, sautee a chopped onion in butter and bacon fat, then add chopped cabbage.  Season with ground or fresh sage, and pepper.  Sautee for about two hours, stirring frequently and adding more fat when necessary.

 

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