Roasted Veggie Pasta for a Crowd

This is a nice choice for a buffet, a colorful combination of roasted veggies tossed with hearty rigatoni,  pasta. The best thing is everything can be prepped the day before including the pasta, and assembled the day of your party.
Bring everything to room temperature, mix it all together and warm it slightly in a low oven, it doesn’t have to be pipping hot at all!
The more colors the better, and the more the merrier with the veggies! I used red, yellow and orange peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, artichokes, green beans, onions, peas, cherry tomatoes and sliced garlic all roasted separately, according to their kind on baking sheets in a 425 degree oven drizzled with generous amounts of olive oil, salt and pepper.
I like to roast my cherry tomatoes along with sliced garlic and plenty of olive oil on top of foil so the juicy oil gathers together and doesn’t burn off on the baking sheet, that way you can toss that wonderful juice all in the mix as well.
Of course you’ll want to add handfuls of grated romano cheese, more olive oil, fresh basil and parsley to finish it off, tasting along the way to get the flavors just right!
I get requests to make this all the time for parties, it’s a welcome addition to a red sauced baked pasta, and it looks pretty too!
Buon Appetito!


Cooking for a Crowd?

Growing up, Meatball Lasagna was always reserved for special occasions, holiday times, and parties. Often it was served as a side dish along with a roast of some sort, a turkey, or a ham, but just as many times, all on it’s own.

Homemade mini meatballs are key, a little time consuming, but worth it! You can roll, and cook them ahead of time, stick them in a Ziploc bag in the frig, or freezer till ready to assemble. My meatballs will always have garlic, breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, egg, salt, pepper, and lots of grated Romano cheese.
I find that results are best if you use the dried or fresh noodles, not the no-boil type, layering as you go with a light homemade marinara sauce, ricotta cheese mixture, shredded, or fresh mozzarella, the mini meatballs, and more Romano cheese. Who can resist oozing cheese and dripping sauce and a bite of a tiny meatball? A definite crowd pleaser!!

Stuffed Shells are great for a party also, they’re individual and self contained, and easy to serve.
Here I made two different kinds, a meat mixture of ground round, chopped spinach, and grated Romano cheese, and your standard ricotta cheese mixture.

This was served as a side dish to our meal on Christmas day. Packed up and ready to go to my BIL, and SIL’s for dinner! Two huge pans! You think I went a little overboard??? I know, I have issues!!
We also had New York strip steaks on the grill, beer battered shrimp, shrimp scampi, assorted veggies, and way to much other stuff. Needless to say, everyone went home with a huge care package.

Next time you have a party you might want to try these!

Buon Appetito!!!