My method of serving pasta and sauce at an event is partially dependent on how long its going to have to sit around.Plated or buffet or action station?
I ask this because for being so simple pasta is one of the harder dishes to serve buffet style.
The main problem is the tendency to suck up all the moisture and go mushy (like @chefbuba mentioned).
When I plate in the kitchen I use tongs and make a swirly little "hill" ...hit it with parsley and serve (same with action station).
Harder on the buffet....if the sheep are slow to move everything sticks together and looks like glue.
You can prevent a lot of this by switching out the pans before you get to that stage or just bake it off like mac and cheese and let them serve themselves with a spoon.
Have a practice run at home and you will see what I mean.
What do yall farm?
If its a long transport, I'll make extra sauce, saturate the pasta somewhat to keep it moist and meld the flavors, then
15 minutes before serving I add the rest of the sauce.
Another way I have done it is to keep the pasta and sauce separate--pasta sits in shallow water (1 sterno) then is tonged out
for service, sauce is plopped on top with a 4 oz ladle. This works especially well for a staggered, or extended service time.
(And there is also a significant percentage of guests who prefer their pasta to be served this way.)
And of course, I'm talking about an action-station service with this method. I never ever put pasta and sauce out separately
for a self service buffet. That's a sure way to hear "we neeeeed more sauce!" about 8 minutes in, only to find all the sauce
drained, with 6 lbs of dry pasta next to it with no sauce available. Lack of consideration in the presence of hunger and tasty
vittles is part of the human condition. We must endeavor to fight it off with our very being! (and smart methods maybe)