Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pasta For a Crowd

Last night Big Brother's cross-country team gathered here for a pre-race pasta dinner. I was making baked ziti and spaghetti and meatballs for 20 runners.

I used my 18-quart Nesco roaster (not as nice as the one pictured above--mine is an older model, in white. But it works great, so I won't complain!)

I was able to get 4 pounds of cooked pasta into the 18-qt with plenty of room to spare. There was lots of baked ziti for all. With this I used about 4 quarts of homemade spaghetti sauce, 2 15-oz tubs of ricotta, and 2 8-oz bags of shredded Italian-blend cheese.

I put the hot pasta right into the cookwell that was heating to 225, with a little sauce on the bottom first. Mixed in the sauce and cheese, lined the sides with lasagna noodles (2 rows) and covered. I only stirred once or twice in about 1 1/2 hour of cooking at around 225. It was nice and hot, not dried out at all.

One of the hungry runners told Big Brother that his mom is an awesome chef. We didn't wind up with 20 kids, but if word gets around that I fed them well, we may have more than 20 next time. I'm glad they enjoyed the dinner.


  1. I need to seriously look into buying a cooker like this.

    I'm glad to hear that your dinner turned out well! Happy kids always make life easier! ;)

  2. why the lasagna noodles?

  3. Roaster ovens heat from the sides. If you slide RAW lasagna noodles between the sides of the cookwell and the food, it will prevent the edges of the food from burning (and sticking to the pan). The lasagna noodles will take most of the punishment.

    1. Thank you for the raw noodle tip! I have to make spaghetti and meatballs for a group and was wondering how to keep the spaghetti from sticking and burning on the sides.

  4. Looking for a pasta idea for my hubbys 40th bday party next weekend. This might be a winner! Sloppy joes n suxh get boring so this will be a nice change! Lol



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