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How Much Pasta to Serve for 15 people?

I'm having a party for my boyfriend's birthday this Saturday. I plan to make bruschetta pasta with chicken. I also plan to serve a Caesar salad and of course garlic bread. For an appetizer we are having antipasto. So my question is, how many lbs of linguine should I make? I'm thinking 2-3 lbs but I don't want a TON of leftovers.

I am also making the bruschetta myself and I honestly have no idea how much to make of that either since I'm used to just cooking for 3 people (my boyfriend, my father and me). I've also noticed that when people are drinking wine and talking they tend to consume less food. I know I do. However I will be having a few men coming with big appetites so I would hate to shortchange them.

Your input would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Usually a lb. of pasta = 4 servings, so 4 lbs/ boxes should be right for 16 entree sized servings. However, you're doing garlic bread and a caesar w/ croutons so the starch factor is pretty high already. What is bruschetta pasta? Sounds like there might be bread in that, too. If that's the case, 2-3 lbs. of ling. should be more than sufficient. adam

    1. If it were spaghetti and meatballs, I'd do 4lbs for 15, and expect close about a 1/2 lb of leftovers. For a chicken dish with a pasta side, I'd do 3 lbs, figuring 5 servings per lb.

      1. I think when I cooked for large groups 2 oz. of dried pasta was one serving cooked.

        1. Cooked linguine is compact so a portion looks smaller than an equal weight of ziti and other hollow or shaped pastas. People might take a larger helping than they wind up finishing. I'd go with 4 pounds, figuring on hearty servings per pound. Don't sauce it all at once, If you wind up with lots left over and no room in the refrigerator, tossing a dollar's worth of pasta isn't going to weigh on your conscience. Or send leftovers home with your guests.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            I agree w/ the 4 lbs. Always better to have more than not enough. There are creative ways to deal w/leftovers -- pasta frittata or is it fritatta? Well, you know what I mean!

          2. Ok, what's Bruschetta Pasta? Recipe please.... adam

            4 Replies
            1. re: adamshoe

              Thanks for the help everyone. I call it bruschetta pasta because I really don't know what else to call it. Please someone tell me if this has a "technical" name! I just make homemade bruschetta ( chopped tomato, garlic, basil, onion and some olive oil) then toss with hot pasta and fresh grated parmesan cheese. I decided I would add some grilled chicken this time to make it a more substantial, well rounded meal for guests. I was brought up in one of those protein, vegetable, starch type of families :D

              OHH. And now I see why Adam thought the pasta had bread in it. I always thought that bruschetta just referred to the topping (tomato, onion, etc) when in fact it originally referred to the whole dish (tomato, onion etc. on top of a crostini). My grocery store sells just the topping labeled as bruschetta in their salad bar area so I'm blaming this mix-up all on them.

              1. re: Jodi B

                Based on your description, I am revising - pasta is really cheap, go with 4 lbs....

                1. re: Jodi B

                  I make a Spaghettini with Checca sauce that is very similar to yours. It calls for 8 oz pasta = 4 servings, without the chicken. You can find it on food network, it uses Mozzarella as the protein.

                  1. re: Jodi B

                    For your future reference Jodi, Bruschetta is toasted Italian bread with a savory topping. It doesn't always have to be tomato/onion/garlic, etc.