Baked Pasta and Other Suggestions for Feeding a Crowd

Trays of Baked Mac!

People often ask me what they could feed guests whenever people suddenly drop by or if they get invited to parties where one has to take potluck as far as the food is concerned.  Here’s my personal list of crowd favorites:

  • Baked pasta I mean, come on: it’s practically a no-brainer as everyone likes pasta.  You can go as simple as baked mac with meat sauce or macaroni and cheese, or do something decidedly baroque like a lasagna, a Greek pastitsio (baked mac with cinnamon in the sauce), or – goodness me! – a timbale of macaroni tubes cemented with a lobster mousseline and filled with a zarzuela of mixed seafood sauteed in butter and garlic;
  • Pancit Malabon, bihon, sotanghon, palabok, miki-bihon – if it’s savory sauteed noodles, people will eat it;
  • Stews You can never really go wrong with a good pot of caldereta or, better yet, kare-kare.  If opting for the latter, do not forget to bring some home-cooked bagoong alamang.

With these three standards in mind, I sincerely hope people will stop bringing those vile macaroni, fruit, and potato salads.  (Unless, of course, they’re bringing Russian salad.  But that, dear readers, is a story for another day…)