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Dec 16, 2012 06:05 PM

Pasta dish (Vegetarian) for buffet dinner for 25

Annual party, and every year I vary the menu, but always want a pasta dish, preferably vegetarian this year (no other big veg main courses). I've done variations on pesto, variations on tomato based sauces, and two years ago did a citrus cream sauce that was a huge hit. This year, I'm out of ideas. Because of things in the oven, want something that can be made on the stovetop too.

Other things on the menu include pork tenderloins with balsamic chestnut glaze, and a potato-mushroom gratin, and either a green bean/white bean salad or a green been, beet and radicchio salad.

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  1. how about a butternut squash lasagne, or shells with carmelized onions and butternut squash.

    2 Replies
    1. re: magiesmom

      I was going to recommend that too- I have a great recipe with a butternut squash b├ęchamel and uses rainbow chard- so good!

      But the op wants a stove top pasta dish. How about asparagus pesto? Replace half the basil with asparagus?

      Or a simple garlic/olive oil and then toss in halved cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and red pepper flakes.

      1. re: foodieX2

        pesto, asparagus and fresh basil are all pretty summery to me.

        i like the idea of bitter greens too escarole or rabe. cooked ahead with plenty of red pepper flakes and garlic, it can be simply reheated while the pasta cooks and finished with smoked mozz, feta or ricotta stirred with a bit of harissa paste.

        my other thought is that since there already is a gratin, a very simple dish of spaghetti with olive oil, loads of lemon zest, some anchovy and black pepper may be enough.

    2. I would do something using bitter greens like rabe. You can sauteed those ahead of time with garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Then, at the end, toss all with more oilve oil and ricotta--and some romano on top for a salty bite.

      1. I make a hearty stovetop pasta dish with gigli (or other similarly shaped pasta), white beans, sausage, tomatoes, onions and sometimes kale or other greens - you could easily leave out the sausage and/or vary the vegetables, but the white beans would add a nice hit of protein for your vegetarians. It's quick and easy too - if you use canned beans, you can pretty much get the sauce ready in the time it takes the pasta to cook.

        1 Reply
        1. re: biondanonima

          I do something similar to biond and escondido frequently in the winter. My favorite is with diced kale sauteed with onions, garlic and red pepper flakes mixed with white beans and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese. Of course tomatoes, mushrooms or butternut squash are good additions.

        2. Not pasta but a risotto would be a good option.

          1. I know you wanted stove top, but this dish can be done earlier in the day and serve at room temperature. And it makes a ton.

            Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetables with Orzo. I take it to many family gatherings and it's always a hit.


            1 Reply
            1. re: mcel215

              I love that recipe! It is huge hit for me too!