Heirloom Johnny Mazetti

Heirloom Johnny Mazetti

12 ounces rotini (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
1 onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano OR 1 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish and set aside.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until just shy of al dente. Drain pasta and transfer to prepared baking dish.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add celery, onion, bell pepper and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add beef and sausage, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, breaking up any large clumps with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook until flavors are blended, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside off heat.

Sprinkle 1 cup cheese evenly over pasta, then pour meat mixture over top. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over meat mixture.

Place the baking dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with foil. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven about 45 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Remove foil and continue to bake about 10 minutes longer, until top is spotty brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

From “Cook’s Country Best Lost Suppers: Old-Fashioned, Home-Cooked Recipes Too Good to Forget,” by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen.