Three Ways to Make Johnny Marzetti

I’ve hit a carb overload. The holidays are over, thank god. I’m really ready to get back to eating healthy, but I also want food that carries some weight to it, so I came up with these easy recipes for the formerly carb loaded comfort food, Johnny Marzetti, from the original, which I’ve also posted below and at Broadway & Thresher.

 Johnny Marzetti was invented in my hometown, Columbus, Ohio at the Marzetti restaurant that used to be downtown on East Broad Street. My parents ate there on occasion. My mother called it, “a white tablecloth type of place” but she couldn’t remember if she ever ordered Johnny Marzetti. Regardless of her patronage to the dish, it rose to international fame, becoming not only a staple in cafeterias around the word, but the state dish of Panama. Here’s an article in the Columbus Dispatch which shows a photo of the restaurant:
this article to learn more. 

  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) tomato puree or prepared spaghetti sauce 
  • 1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat or non-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

To cook a whole spaghetti squash, poke it all over with a fork and cook in the microwave on high for eight minutes, turning the squash over after four minutes. Let the squash sit in the microwave for an additional 5 minutes. It will be very hot. Cut it in half when you are ready and scoop out the seeds and throw them away. Then scoop out the rest of the innards and set aside. There will be much more squash than you need for this recipe, but you can freeze the rest if you wish and use it for something else. 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

While the squash is cooking, cook the onion in the olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and browned (about 8 minutes)

“,”engine”:”visual”}” data-block-type=”2″>

Johnny Marzetti With Grass Fed Beef and Spaghetti Squash 

Humans eat entirely too many corn products. Grass fed beef is healthier for you, the cows, and the environment. It’s now readily available at Trader Joe’s and other markets including, most likely, an independent butcher near you. Not convinced? Read this article to learn more.

  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) tomato puree or prepared spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat or non-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

To cook a whole spaghetti squash, poke it all over with a fork and cook in the microwave on high for eight minutes, turning the squash over after four minutes. Let the squash sit in the microwave for an additional 5 minutes. It will be very hot. Cut it in half when you are ready and scoop out the seeds and throw them away. Then scoop out the rest of the innards and set aside. There will be much more squash than you need for this recipe, but you can freeze the rest if you wish and use it for something else.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

While the squash is cooking, cook the onion in the olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and browned (about 8 minutes)

Johnny Marzetti with Grass Fed Beef
this article. 

Jackie Alpers Is a regular and valued contributor to Broadway+Thresher. Based in Tucson, Arizona she is a full time food photographer and writer with a broad portfolio of national and regional work. Visit her online at www.jackiealpers.com

“,”engine”:”visual”}” data-block-type=”2″>In the 1920s, Ohio’s favorite dish appeared out of necessity at Marzetti’s Restaurant at 16 E. Broad St. in Columbus. Owners Teresa and Joseph Marzetti sought a simple main course, easy and cheap to make. You can learn more about the dish in this article.