Saturday, April 16, 2011

Judy Peterson’s Marvelous Mazetti

When my old pal Judy* (How ... old ... is ... she?) came to dinner this week, I reminded her of the great Mazetti recipe she gave me 45 years ago. “Mazetti?” she asked. “What’s that?” She’d forgotten, so I promised to send her the recipe she gave me, all those years ago. The current wet winter weather in the time zone where I live has got me thinking of comfort food, and Mazetti fits the bill! As a tasty, easy-to-make, inexpensive casserole, Mazetti’s a crowd-pleaser at any party, a family-pleaser at any table, and a geezer-pleaser at my house! (How ... old ... are ... you? MYOB!). This makes a huge amount, so I very carefully wrap the leftovers in individual portions and store them in the fridge, where they work their way to the back and get thrown out two weeks later. Seriously, now ... Mazetti leftovers freeze perfectly!

Judy Peterson’s Marvelous Mazetti:
3 c. dried broad egg noodles
1 10-oz. (284 mL) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained (or about 20 small, fresh mushrooms, sliced)
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1-½ lb. ground beef (I often use less. Substitute 2 cans of tuna, if you prefer, but I never depart from Judy’s recipe)
1 10-oz. (284 mL) can mushroom soup, undiluted
1 10-oz. (284 mL) can tomato soup, undiluted
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic salt (or substitute garlic powder with a dash of salt)
½ tsp. celery flakes (or substitute 2 tsp. finely chopped, fresh celery leaves)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. grated cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Cook noodles according to package directions, draining well. Set aside. While noodles are cooking, sauté mushrooms, pepper, onion, and meat. Drain off fat.
Combine noodles, meat mixture, and all other ingredients except cheese in a lightly greased 2.5 L casserole dish (I use a 9x12-inch Pyrex casserole). Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake, uncovered, 20 min.
* Pssst! She’s 65! 

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