Daddy’s Delight or ‘Johnny Marzetti’

Oh, and Mommy likes it too…

Okay, most of you know I am a meat-and-potato kind of guy. Put any plate of meat casserole on the table and my fork starts humming and my mouth begins chomping immediately. I think most men are of the same nature. 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.

The dish is a standard in many households and the ingredients vary. This is one I adapted from a recipe called ‘Johnny Marzetti’. The recipe is famous in the Panama Canal Zone area since around World War II and where most down there are surprised to know, it did not originate there but from Columbus Ohio. There are numerous names for it, Crowd Pleaser Casserole, Daddy’s Dinner, Church Supper Dish and so on… 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!


Daddy’s Delight

Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 pounds ground round beef
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
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 -8 oz package cream cheese
1 -10 to 12 oz carton 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 and chili powder. Simmer for 10 minutes.

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

In a well-greased 2-quart baking dish, layer 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.

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