Johnny Marzetti

This one's for me

Hey, what do you want to do on Valentine's Day? Want to go to Ruth Chris? How 'bout heading out on the causeway for some seafood? Or would you prefer to stay home and maybe I'll throw some lobster tails on the grill.. whattaya say Drick?

Folks, when it comes right down to it, if I had my way, I'd settle for relaxation and a simple dinner dish, a one-pan meal would be just fine. And since I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy,  as long as you're asking, something like this Johnny Marzetti resemblance would be just fine.

I first posted this recipe back in 2009 - it is a favorite of mine and of many of you as well; it gets a lot of attention from time to time. I mean really, it has everything going for it; a great, well flavored taste appeal - a tomato base meat sauce, egg noodles substituting unnoticeable for potatoes, very little if any vegetables, scattered creamy layers of saucy cheese plus a top layer of more cheese and a blend of seasonings that makes you go back for more.

This is what I wrote back then and I think is still appropriate for today, on Valentine's Day:
Ladies, this casserole might not get you a new car, a diamond bracelet or that new fancy mink but it will sure put a smile on your face when your family (and man in your life) gets down to eating. Who knows, it might just get you that new kitchen appliance. It goes by many names but I think the title I chose is more direct, at least as far as I am concerned, more to the point – give Daddy what he wants!

And as I mentioned, this recipe is most famous in the Panama Canal Zone area since the time of World War II and where most down there are surprised to know, it did not originate there but from Columbus Ohio. Back then and even today, it is still a simple but good choice to please the man in your life, in this case, me. Enjoy!

Daddy’s Delight or my Johnny Marzetti
Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 pounds ground round beef (85/15)
2 tablespoons bacon grease or oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 -10.75 oz can tomato soup
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
dash of cinnamon
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 -8 oz package cream cheese
1 -10 to 12 oz plain yogurt
1 -12 oz package narrow egg noodles, cooked & drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Brown the ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain any grease and add the bacon grease or oil, bell pepper, onion, celery and garlic. Cook until onions are crisp tender. Add the tomato soup, salt, pepper, sugar, chili powder and just enough cinnamon to say you thought about it. Simmer for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the yogurt, cream cheese and scallions to blend.

In a well-greased 2-quart baking dish, sprinkle the noodles, meat mixture and yogurt mixture in several layers. Sprinkle the two cheeses on top.

In a 350 degree F oven, bake for about 20 minutes or until heated and cheese has slightly browned. Serve immediately and make Daddy happy.


  1. No mink or diamonds for me.... food is the universal language I would settle for a subtle homemade dinner candlelight and this dish any long as I dont have to cook it! I would be in heaven with just having someone are a gem my dear chef man! So one lucky significant other is out there for you!!! this Happy Valentines Day, have a great one Drick!

  2. I'm having seafood today too! Happy Valentine's day to you too, Drick. Have a flavourful sweetheart day. Boy, you're making me hungry with that yummy looking Daddy's Delight. Hope you're well and enjoy your day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  3. Wonderful, comfort food there. It looks much wonderful cheese.

    I did chuckle over the lack of veggies as part of it's awesomeness. ;) Have a beautiful Valentine's Day.

  4. I'd love to come home tonight to this awesome meal! Your John Marzetti looks incredible!
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!
    P.S. I wouldn't mind if hubs wanted to take me to Ruth Chris - love their steaks! :)

  5. Luckily I don't want diamonds OR mink! You crack me up. I love a one dish meal too (and by the way, Poppa Trix and I do NOT normally have such a swanky breakfast, lol!!)

  6. Never was a big diamond fan, hubby is thankful but a bit confused by that lol. Meat n potatoes, my guys would enjoy this one too. Happy Valentines Day Drick!

  7. Drick, you know, I hadn't even heard of this dish before, but it has an intriguing history and sounds delicious. As you say, a real man's dish. In fact, I may just make it for myself. To coin a phase, love like charity begins at home! LOL!

  8. Man, that is one oldie-goldie good recipe right there. It's exactly what my hubby would choose to have on the table any day. Unless, of course, the other option is a grilled ribeye and baked potato. He's a meat and potatoes man for sure!

  9. That is comfort food, pure and simple. I think I could make all the guys in my family happy with that dish.

  10. What a great recipe, definitely one my boys would love...and I love that top photos with the melted crisped cheese :) Hope you had an amazing valentines day my friend!

  11. I love it - very little vegetables. :)

    This looks like a winner to me. My husband's a meat and potatoes guy too. I'm slowly converting him, but I suppose I could treat him to this delicious casserole for Valentine's Day. After all, he deserves it for putting up with me!

    PS I'd like the new kitchen appliance any day.

  12. Great recipe, full of comforting delights! But hey, diamonds are a girl's best friend and Ruth's Chris is always a treat! lol

  13. Daddy's delight, more like Mama's delight..I would devour this entire dish, we also stay in on Vday..nothing beats a home cooked meal with your loved one (and a new gemstone, lol) take care my friend and have a wonderful week!

  14. Haha...I love the name...Daddy's Delight. Any Mommy's Delight? Would love to pass to my girls so that they can cook for me :D This dish sure looks very delicious....mmm.


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