February 27, 2013

Pasta For A Crowd

For feeding a crowd this is my go- to recipe.  A creamy pasta with chicken.  My flavors vary by my mood,  but the foundation stays the same. I make the cream sauce, boil the pasta, add my meat and finish with the herbs or other ingredients.  The pasta of choice is based on who my crowd is and what the seating arrangement might be like.  If its standing, a serve a penne or bowtie.  If we sit, I might serve a linguini.  I don't like fettuccine size and a spaghetti noodle can be a bit old fashioned (unless its Carbonara). 
I have adjusted my original recipe to feed a crowd of 25.

 The Foundation:
  • 2 lbs. real butter
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled, crushed and minced
  • 1 bottle of good white wine ( I like a Reisling or Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/2 gallon of heavy cream
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Tarragon or other herbs of choice 
  • Freshly shaved  Asiago or  Parmesan cheese
  • Pasta of choice

  1. Melt butter in a saute pan. 
  1. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute. 
  1. Add wine and reduce to about half. 
  1. Add cream, salt and pepper, HERBS. Simmer until a bit thicker.
 I use 1 lb. of pasta per 5 people. 
 Basic cooking instructions are found here ( I do 2 1/2 lbs at once)
  • Add about 1 cup of the pasta water to the sauce.  
  • Reserve 1 cup of  sauce before putting pasta directly onto sauce in the sauce pan.  Coat the pasta, and garnish with pine nuts, cheese, herbs.  You may even squeeze a it of fresh lemon to freshen up the flavors. 
  • I also have added a small amount of BBQ sauce for a rustic pasta dish that uses grilled chicken.
  • You may add a good tomato paste for a pasta "pink" sauce.
  • I may keep it vegetarian and add sliced, blanched vegetables.  This would make it a traditional "Pasta Primavera".  My favorite vegetables to use would be: yellow squash & carrots, sliced and cut on the diagonal, small broccoli florets,slivered onion and snow pea pods.   
  • Sometimes a nice crunch is a pleasant surprise in a pasta dish.  Use pine nuts or breadcrumbs to top it off. 


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