Rewind back to California when our trip pretty much shifted to revolving around the Cubs. Then I come home and Cubs mania is everywhere. The staff at Heinens is decked out in their Cubs gear, it’s all over Target, my boys will talk of nothing else ‘Mom, did you know that blah blah blah is the best pitcher in baseball and we have to face him tonight?’
No, I did not know that.
Yet I’m enough of a fan to know two things. 1. This is stressful. Being a Cubs fan is hard! We all want it so flipping bad. My husbands full out demeanor has been completely controlled by if they have won or if they have lost. We are in game by game mode over here my friends.
And secondly, Rizzo.
I feel so bad for the guy! He definitely did his fair share this season but oh to be in the playoffs on a slump has got to be hard. We are all routing for him. Logan was even doing some odd dance with his autographed ball when he was up to bat for good luck yet alas it didn’t work. My neighbor was dreaming about how to make him better. And I want to make him this casserole.
We are all here for you, Rizzo.
I’m pretty sure if he had a helping or two of this recipe all would be ok. Because it delivers just that: comfort. Layer upon layer upon oh so cheesy layer. It’s like a big ol’ hug which is what I think all of Chicago needs right now as the boys are getting ready to play out in sunny LA this evening.
I even got a SMILE out of M when he was served this for dinner last night. And that was on the day we had just suffered the 1-0 loss the night before. When I had asked him earlier in the day how it was going he replied ‘ugh hard. You know….the Cubs.’
Yes, so hard.
So anyone seeking a break from it all and a bit of comfort this Rizzo casserole is your answer. Originally called Johnny Marzetti casserole I tweaked it a bit to give it a Cubs play off flare because it’s just so appropriate. Make for tonights game, get on the jersey, and GO CUBS GO!
- 8 ounces rotini pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced green bell pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (14.4 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just al dente, 6 to 8 minutes; drain.
- Meanwhile, cook the ground beef and sausage until completely browned and crumbled, 7 to 10 minutes. Mix in the onion, celery, garlic, and pepper; continue to cook and stir another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Allow to cool down for a few minutes.
- Lightly grease a large casserole dish. Spread the pasta over the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the Italian cheese blend over the pasta. Pour the meat mixture over the pasta and cheese. Cover dish with heavy aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minute and then remove foil and sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the casserole. Continue baking until Cheddar cheese has melted, about 5 more minutes. Flip on the broiler if you want it a bit more browned and bubbly. Rest for 10 minutes before serving, if you can wait that long.