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nini with kidsOur newest little neighbor just turned one week old yesterday.  Yay! This lucky little man came home to one adorable brother, two darling sisters and a very busy mom and dad!!  In an effort to give them an extra few minutes of time, I decided that they needed a casserole.  Yes – a casserole.  Not some fancy gourmet meal that you have to “prepare“… a one-dish wonder that has but one requirement.  Turn on the oven. Pondering the possibilities the other day, a memory popped into my head.  One of my kids favorite meals when they were little… Nini’s Marsetti Casserole.  Yep. That’s it.

Nini.  My husband’s grandmother; my children’s great-grandmother; and one heck of a classy lady!!  She had a zest for life that was absolutely contagious…  Nini was, however, not exactly what you think of when you think “great grandma“…  Not by a longshot.  She had it all going on.  The hair, the nails, the bling, the make-up… perfection. Her clothes were polished and crisp and tailored.  She was educated and articulate; always up-to-speed with current events.  She was a great golfer and an excellent piano player.  She loved her life in Florida, but she also loved to travel.  In this world of rush, rush, rush… Nini taught us the true meaning of “dining…” when we went out to dinner.  More than anything, however, Nini loved her family and friends! xo  Her social life would have made you dizzy!  Her favorite time of the day… “Cocktail Hour”! WooHoo!!  Yes – Nini taught everyone around her, by example, what it meant to live each and every day to the fullest.  And she did so until the very end – October 18, 1995.  At 89 years young, when her time on this earth was finally complete, she said goodbye during “cocktail hour”, decked out for a party with friends.  Little did she know that there was a whole new group of friends waiting to meet her that evening. 

Thanks to Nini, Heaven will never be the same… xo

marsetti casserole

Nini’s Marsetti Casserole

1 pkg (12 oz) thin spaghetti, broken into pieces & cooked

2 lbs. ground beef, browned *

1 lg. onion

½ green pepper, chopped *

1 jar (8 oz) sliced mushrooms

Minced garlic, to taste *

1 t. pepper, oregano & basil *

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 (14.5 oz) cans tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

S&P, to taste

8 oz. Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, combine browned beef, onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic; Simmer until tender.  Add in seasonings and tomatoes.  Mix well; then add in cooked spaghetti and 4 oz. Parmesan cheese.  Pour into a 13×9 pan and top with remaining cheese. (Note: Can be frozen before – Just be sure to thaw before baking.) Bake at 350 for about an hour.

* I’m not a green pepper fan, but I love red peppers.  An easy sub!  When I am making for a family with kids, I often omit peppers altogether!  I have also subbed in turkey Italian sausage for the ground beef, which is yummy.  Whatever floats your boat…! Over the years, I added in the garlic and increased the seasonings a bit. xo 

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