Don’t spare the olives in the Johnny Marzetti pasta
Made and reviewed by CHARLOTTE ANGELL
For The Advocate

Jon’s Rating: The cook was under the weather when it came time to cook this recipe. My eldest daughter Emily stepped up and made this one. She isn’t as experi-enced nor does she enjoy the process of cooking nearly as much as her mother, but Emily did great with this recipe. But before we move on, let me mention the one area in the kitchen that Emily did inherit from her mother, and could quite possibly exceed her mother in…. this gal can dirty, pots, pans, dishes and kitchen utensils. Amazing how an empty sink becomes overflowing while these two are cooking; but I digress…

This was an excellent recipe. I’d give this one three and a half on my four hat scale. The sauce was paste-y and stuck to the pasta well, and with the freshly chopped seasonings from the kitchen gar-den, it popped with flavor. I like black olives and they too were a flavor treat… if we do this one again I am going to suggest dou-bling the olives in the sauce…mmmm good.

Johnny Marzetti Pasta
Serves 8
Hands-on 20 minutes
Total 1 hour, 35 minutes

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 pounds beef shoulder or round
steak, ground
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (7-oz) can sliced mushrooms, undrained
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
1 (3.5-oz) can pitted ripe black olives, drained and halved
8 oz uncooked farfalle, cooked according to package directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the beef and salt; cook, stirring occasionally until the beef is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, stirring and scraping the pan to loosen browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato sauce, mushrooms, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and thyme, stirring to combine. Add the cheese; cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by one-fourth, about 1 hour. Add the olives; cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the cooked pasta. Divide the mixture among 8 bowls, and serve immediately.

Note: To freeze, cook until the olives are added; remove from heat. Cool one hour. Fill freezer safe containers; freeze. Thaw and cook in a Dutch oven over medi-um-high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring about 15 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta.