Pasta Party Ideas

Pasta Party: Spaghetti and Meatballs,

It can be said that pasta is universally loved. So is a pasta party. Every culture has its incredible pasta or noodle dishes but we tend to boil it down to two broad categories. To demonstrate that, think of pasta... Okay, now think of noodles... See? Italian pasta, Asian noodles. The difference from one part of the world to another, though, is often a matter of changing out the seasonings.

So, ahead lies lotsa pasta and oodles of noodles with recipes, menu ideas, party tips and instructions for cooking pasta al dente.

Pasta Party Tips

  • Pasta parties are casual, fun buffets. There are two ways to approach the buffet, though. One is to serve a variety of sauces with a variety of pasta and let your guests mix and match as desired. For the most part, one sauce goes with another pasta. Good for pesto, marinara and primavera sauces. Of course, it effectively eliminates casserole-type dishes like lasagna and macaroni and cheese, stuffed pasta shells, or goodie-laden recipes like shrimp fettuccine, and we can't have that, can we? 
  1. A much more desirable and practical approach is to serve the pasta dishes family style, already mixed with sauce and goodies. Especially since guests will likely be contributing their favorite dishes.
  • Serve hot food hot, cold food cold. Pre-heat the water and/or oven and cook the noodles as your guests arrive. To keep the dishes hot, round up a few warming trays or chafing dishes. Serve salads on ice.  
  • Speaking of salad, round out the meal with appropriate sides like roasted garlic bread or Garlic Knots, Caesar Salad, Artichoke Salad, Ratatouille, Antipasto, or wonderfully spicy Kimchi.

How to Cook Pasta al Dente

Al dente means "to the tooth." Pasta cooked al dente is tender but firm to the tooth, never mushy. There is nothing as unappealing as soggy noodles. 

I sometimes hear the old wives tale about throwing your pasta at the wall to test for doneness; they say that if it sticks it's done. I don't recommend that, on so many levels. But it gives a whole new slant to "throwing" a pasta party, doesn't it? 

There is a much more dignified way to test for doneness: Cook your pasta in plenty of well-salted boiling water. Soon, the edges will turn a lighter color. When the noodles appear a uniform color, test a piece by eating it. Is it done? Drain the pasta in a colander immediately and toss with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.


Pasta Recipes

Straw and Hay

Linguine with Creamy Shrimp Scampi

Wild Mushroom Lasagna

Rigatoni and Broccoli

Shrimp Fettuccine

Chicken Penne in Cumin Cream

Lasagna Roll Ups

Fried Ravioli

Healthier Mac and Cheese

Spaghetti Nest Eggs (for brunch)

Hot Cold Noodles

Shrimp Lo Mein (Noodles)


Wine and Pasta Pairing

Homemade Pasta Recipes

Top of Pasta Party


Join the party! Tell us how you were able to use or improve the recipe(s) or tips on this page.


Join the party! Tell us how you were able to use or improve the recipe(s) or tips on this page.

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