There’s no pasta party like a Giada De Laurentiis pasta party, but good luck getting invited to that.
A lucky hundred-plus ticket holders attended De Laurentiis’ Italian Harvest Party at New York City Wine and Food Festival on October 14, while another cluster dined at her sold-out pop-up pasta dinner at Chefs Club on October 15, but for those unable to make it to De Laurentiis’ events (or for those who just want more), the celebrity chef shared some simple advice with Forbes on how to host your own pasta party, Giada-style.
“Pasta is one of those blank canvases, like bread – you can put anything on it, you can make it sweet, you can make it savory, you can feed a crowd with it and it’s inexpensive and you can stretch it – that’s what makes it so special,” De Laurentiis said of why pasta makes for a great party theme and food. Everyone loves pasta!
The menu:”I would do a pasta salad and a baked pasta, something cold and something hot,” De Laurentiis said. She recommends her recipes for Antipasto Pasta Salad – “it has meats, cheeses, the whole nine yards” – and Baked Ziti with Meatballs –”everyone loves the little meatballs in it” –as easy to make crowd-pleasers.
And whether you’re having five people or fifty, De Laurentiis attested that prepping for a pasta party doesn’t have to be difficult. Make the cold salad a day or two in advance, “the longer it sits, the better it tastes,” she said, and then have it out on the table or buffet when guests arrive. You can also prep the hot dish in advance, putting it when the preheated oven when guests arrive. “Heating the pasta makes the entire house smell good and warms people’s souls,” De Laurentiis said.
To chase down all that pasta? “I personally like a little rosé,” De Laurentiis said. For dessert, she’s a big fan of an affogato, ice cream drowned in a little espresso, which requires exactly no prep until you serve it.”It’s a pick-me-up with a sweet little ending, but it’s not too heavy,” De Laurentiis said of the dessert anyone can stomach after feasting on baked pasta.