I have recently been given/taken on the responsibility as head of our church kitchen. In about a week and a half, we are having a spaghetti dinner for around 70 that I have been asked to prepare and serve. Our menu is spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, salad bar and a dessert. My biggest concern is knowing how much spaghetti and meat sauce to prepare and how to prepare it so it will be edible after our church service. Can someone give me some guidelines about this? I appreciate any help...Thanks!
Spaghetti dinner for 70
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Knowing how much you need is really just an issue of ratio. You determine what a serving is to be. I'd say 1 lb of pasta is between 4 and 6 servings, so if you averaged at 5 servings then it would be 14 lbs of pasta. Of course if you have any concern over individuals going for "seconds" or there being additional people you'd want to plan to accommodate that. The same goes for the sauce, I'd suppose around 2 to 2.5 cups of sauce per serving.
In terms of the preparation, to me the pasta is the biggest concern, but will you be able to prep during the service or do you plan to have everything ready to serve without your being in the kitchen?
Get the size of the plate your using and see what size portion fits well on that size plate, boil up 1lb of spaghetti to determine this amount. The morning or day before the event, boil the pasta in large pots of well salted water, make sure the spaghetti swims freely in the water and your not cooking to much at one time, this will cut down the amount of starch that's on the noodle when fully cooked (Al Dante). Rinse the spaghetti and let drain, lightly oil & toss to coat, store in plastic containers. When its time for service, have boiling water ready to heat the paste for serving. I would figure about 2 cups of meat sauce because the portion of spaghetti and meat sauce is the only entree on the plate with no real side dishes, I would figure 1/2 the size for the kids portion ................take care..............Chef Bill............P.S If you ask some one in Italy, how much salt to put in the water, the answer will be, salt like you are using the water from the ocean.
Edited by ChefBillyB - 5/12/10 at 7:48am
Haven't been back in a while! Thanks for the insight. I plan to prepare as much as I can before hand - probably the day before and refrigerate. The sauce can be put in the oven covered during the service, and we can throw the pre-cooked spaghetti in boiling water right after service and put it in a chafer to serve and keep warm. Thank goodness, a dear lady from our congregation offered to make the garlic bread, so that's off my mind.
Headed to shop for ingredients today. Thanks again for the advice!