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Johnny Marzetti is a pasta-meat-and-cheese casserole popular in the American Midwest and the former <a href="/content/Panama_Canal_Zone" style="color:blue">Panama Canal Zone</a>
Johnny Marzetti is a pasta-meat-and-cheese casserole popular in the American Midwest and the former Panama Canal Zone

Johnny Marzetti is a Midwestern Italian American pasta dish consisting of noodles, cheese, ground beef, and a tomato sauce that typically includes aromatic vegetables and mushrooms.[1]

History


Johnny Marzetti originated in Columbus, Ohio at Marzetti's, an Italian restaurant established in 1896 at Woodruff Avenue and High Street by an Italian immigrant named Teresa Marzetti.[2][3] One of the dishes Marzetti offered her customers was a baked casserole of ground beef, cheese, tomato sauce, and noodles that she named for her brother-in-law, Johnny.[4] Teresa Marzetti was the first person to serve the casserole Johnny Marzetti in a restaurant.[5] Proximity to the nearby Ohio State University helped the first restaurant succeed and spread Marzetti's fame.[6]

By the 1920s, it had become popular across Ohio and the Midwestern United States. The original restaurant closed in 1942, but a second location, opened in 1919, remained in operation until Teresa Marzetti died in 1972.[7] Marzetti's later became known for various salad dressings, which are still produced under the T. Marzetti Company label.

Johnny Marzetti also became a popular dish in the former Panama Canal Zone.[8] Some locals in this region felt that the dish originated there, and typically referred to it as "Johnny Mazetti".[8]

In Season 3, Episode 18 of Gilmore Girls, "Happy Birthday, Baby," it is referred to as "Johnny Machete," a dish Richard Gilmore's grandmother made for him when he was feeling sad.[9]

See also


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