Casserole Call: Knead

Johnny Come Greatly

By
From the October 20, 2011 edition

Turkey Marzetti ($14)

The Draw: An almost forgotten Columbus classic gussied-up and healthed-up with handmade whole wheat pasta plus other fantastic local ingredients

Dig in: As American as Hamburger Helper — and likely the inspiration for it, too — Johnny Marzetti is the most famous dish ever invented in Columbus, Ohio. These days, Johnny has been mostly relegated to the pages of history, yellowing recipe books and Wikipedia, but this classic U.S. casserole once was as popular throughout the country as those old sitcoms rerunning endlessly in TV-land limbo.

Leave it to the incredible Knead to resuscitate our nearly dormant, municipally renowned meal. But leave it to local-ingredient-obsessed and furiously scratch cooking Knead to vastly improve ol’ Johnny, too.

This marvelous Marzetti makeover stars an impressive wine and dairy-inflected meat sauce closer to an authentic Bolognese sauce than scores of pretenders laying claim to that genius creation of Italian cuisine. Knead’s green-peppered beauty also includes lean Ohio-raised ground turkey, great Canal Junction cheese, house-made farfalle pasta and locally harvested herbs and veggies.