If you are wondering what a Johnny Marzetti is....you are not alone. I didn't know what it was until I made it either...but according to wikipedia:
"Johnny Marzetti is a baked pasta dish, or casserole, consisting of noodles, tomato sauce, ground beef, and cheese. Other ingredients and seasonings may be added to adjust the taste. The dish originated in Columbus, Ohio, at the Marzetti restaurant, and spread to other parts of the United States as variations of the recipe were published in magazines and cookbooks during the mid-20th century. The dish is still served in Ohio, especially at social gatherings and in school lunchrooms."
Ok...I am an Ohioan....and I am familiar with the Marzetti name as in salad dressings and dips....but I have never eaten nor made this dish before in my whole life.
What a shame I waited this long to discover this though...
Because it is really delicious and I will definitely be making this again. This dish could potentially be a dieters disaster...but with a few changes, it can be made WW friendly and easily fit into a healthy meal plan. It is quick and easy to prepare, using many ingredients that are on hand and as explained in the history of this dish, it would make an excellent pot luck kind of casserole to take to a gathering or a great weeknight meal.
I found the original recipe at Allrecipes...in fact, there are quite a few versions for this dish to be found there. To lighten up the recipe version I chose to follow, I used extra lean ground beef ( 93/7), whole wheat pasta and replaced the cheese with a reduced fat variety and decreased the amount called for by half. I also increased the amount of pasta in the dish, and doubled the serving amounts. What I arrived at was a nice big serving for 8p+. When paired with a veggie salad, as I have shown, and dressing your salad with a 1p+ dressing, this whole delicious meal comes in at 9p+.
I decided to use shell pasta, because that is what I had in my pantry, but you could use any whole wheat type pasta you desire. The original recipe called for egg noodles, and since now there is a whole wheat version of those as well, you could do those too....but I am not sure the nutritional stats would remain the same if you did. I think I might use plain old macaroni shaped noodles next time...because this dish reminds me of beef-a roni. Give this easy dish a try and see what you think!
Lightened Up Johnny Marzetti
adapated from Allrecipes
Servings - 8 Serving size - 1/8th of recipe ( approx.1 cup+ ) Points Plus per svg - 8 points+
Calories - 298.5, Total Fat - 4.8g, Carb. - 43.7g, Protein - 21.8g, Fiber - 5.7g
12 oz. whole wheat pasta of your choice
16 oz. extra lean ground beef or turkey ( 93/7 )
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, diced
1/2 tsp. - 1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 TBS. granulated sugar
2 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
2 (15 ounce) cans of tomato sauce, reduced sodium, if possible
4 oz. reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water that has been generously seasoned with salt. Undercook pasta by 1 minute, according to package directions. Drain.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
3. In large nonstick skillet, brown the ground beef , onion, mushrooms, and garlic powder. ( You can put it all in together and cook at the same time) When beef is browned and onions are tender, drain off any excess liquid you might have. Replace meat mixture to skillet and add tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes to blend flavors.
4. In prepared casserole dish, layer half the pasta, followed by half the tomato/meat mixture, and then half the cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 -30 minutes, or until heated through.
Earlier in the week, I mentioned that I received a Versatile Blogger Award from Nicole@HeatOvento350 and as the rules state, you need to share 7 random facts with your readers and choose 15 blogs that are new to you that you have recently enjoyed. The first part of the award task wasn't that hard...but the second....oh gosh, I have read and seen SO MANY wonderful blogs out there...I wish I could link to every single one. The food blog community is absolutely amazing and I am constantly blown away by so many of the beautiful photos and wonderful recipes ppl are making or developing! So with that said, the second part will be very hard for me!
So my 7 random facts are as follows:
1. I am an RN, although I have been a stay at home mom for many years....I worked in Labor and Delivery at a local hospital.
2. I am proud of all my kids accomplishments...I am blessed and have three great kids!
3. I don't like to cook on the weekends.
4. I have two brothers, no sisters.
5. I have always felt connected to the south and hope that some day, some way, I will be able to move there and out of Ohio for good!
6. I LOVE to grocery shop!
7. I had a full scholarship to my first year of college, but had to drop out the last quarter because I got mono so bad! ( and yes, the mere fact that the college was in quarters still shows my age! haha )
8. I used to make and decorate cakes as a business. My kids were very little...it was HARD! lol (oops...I guess I gave you a bonus fact!)
And now onto the blogs, ( some are food blogs, some are not)
If your blog appears on this list, know that you have also received the Versatile Blogger Award!
and don't forget to check out my blogroll for more excellent and inspirational blogs! :)
Lastly, I want to wish you all a very Blessed Easter! Remember....veggies are your BEST friend!
This post is being shared with Foodie Friday @ Little Brick Ranch