Spaghetti dinner for 100+

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by garyf, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. garyf


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    Good Day: Stumbled upon this site earlier today and haven't stopped reading for hours! Excellent place for learning and bound to be my most visited site for a long time to come.

    I somehow volunteered to look after a spaghetti dinner at our local Legion this coming weekend. I'm expecting 100 or so people and I'm making about 3 gallons of a basic Marinara sauce. Someone else is responsible for the meatballs thank goodness!

    Unfortunately, we're using dried pasta and I'm not going to even suggest that I bring my personal pasta maker in. Could someone suggest the best way to cook/hold such a large quantity of spaghetti? I would like to maintain al-dente but also crank 100 orders out the window as quickly as possible.

    Thanks to anyone who can de-stress this situation for me :)

  2. dano1


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    Professional Chef
    cook your pasta in a roaster(or other larger shallow pan) with a perforated 200 or 400 pan holding the pasta. pull al dente, spread on a sheetpan and let cool, oil lightly if you like. DO NOT RINSE in the sink to cool-unless you like the swelled gummy stuff served at many a places. You can cook the pasta off the day before no prob either-just make sure to wrap well, after thoroughly chilled, to avoid drying out.

    at service, drop back into your perforated pans and into your clean bains to reheat. toss with sauce in another large roaster or whatever. Dump into your hotel pans-keep it loose. If you're plating i hope you go with a shorter pasta-fusili, penne, avoid a "mess" ;). Re-reading, i guess this is plated-keep the pasta short if possible, get a box of latex gloves, and an 8oz ladle or 2 are your friends for portion control and consistency.

    a hundred people ain't no sweat :)

    hth, danny
  3. deltadoc


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    When I was a cook, we'd serve about 100 - 150 people when it was spaghetti night special. What we did was cook the spaghetti until it was almost done, then drained and shocked it in cold water where it stayed until we needed it. We had a big pot full of boiling water into which the needed amount of spaghetti was inserted using a strainer to finish it off and bring it up to temperature. Spaghetti is hard to portion out, so Dano1 is right, try for something that ladles easily. Most people like most any kind of pasta as long as they like the sauce that comes with it, and the pasta isn't over cooked. However, with that said, I've got this kind of plastic huge toothed spaghetti "grabber" that with a little practice, you can "grab" just about a perfect portion with each and every time. I don't remember where I got it, but it does the trick!

    Make sure you test the meatballs with your marinara sauce to ensure they have a complementary relationship taste-wise. Sometimes the spice base in a meatball and the spice base of the sauce don't jive real well. Just a heads-up.