(Closed) PASTA BAR!!! any suggestions on different pastas?

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 17
269 posts
Helper bee

@langloiswedding2013:  honestly, if I were you I wouldn’t have a pasta bar unless you have a caterer do it. It can be a lot of work to boil large amounts of water and then serve it to guests, keeping it hot and available. What I would do is make large pans of pasta dishes. It doesn’t need to be just plain pasta and sauce, you can do stuffed shells etc. What I would is make several different pans of pasta, each a vegetarian base ( pasta and garlic butter, pasta with red sauce, pasta with cream sauce) and have pans of toppings like bruschetta (over ice) cooked chicken (hot in chafing pans) meatballs, sausage, broccoli, shrimp, carrots, peppers and onions, with special cheeses like goat, fresh mozzerella and chunk parm. That way you can prep the pans a day before, chill them and simply place in the oven until serving time. You can also do sides of extra sauce for those who like it saucier, keeping minimal amount of sauce in the pans. This way the pasta is kept moist and won’t dry out when it comes in contact with air. Crusty pasta =a big NO NO. That way you still have your “make your own pasta bar” feel. Add breads, salad and fruit and you’re done!

Post # 18
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

What about some baked pasta options?  Lasagna, stuffed shells and baked ziti maybe (with extra sauce on the side)?  These can all be done ahead and just reheated.  You can do sausage, meatballs and veggies to go along with the pastas.  I agree with 

@VossinatorsButterfly:, doing your own pasta bar is going to be really tough while also being focused on getting married and entertaining guests.  You can only precook pasta if you can re-heat it on site immediately before service (and throughout service).  Undressed, cooked pasta will be cold and sticking together in about 15 minutes.  

Hotel brunches often have pasta bars but they always involve made to order heating of the pasta with the sauce you select in a small saute pan.  Otherwise the pasta will be dry if left unsauced or overcooked if sauced and left to sit.  

Now I’m hungry!

Post # 19
1511 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@langloiswedding2013:  Hey, date twins!  Smile


I love pasta, and reading all of the suggestions is making me hungry!


I second the gnocchi suggestion.  Since it’s a fall wedding, you could consider offering something a little “different” and go with pumpkin gnocchi with butter sage sauce.


Some other favorites of mine: vodka sauce, gorgonzola cream sauce, stuffed pastas (shells, ravioli, etc.), pesto, and lasagna.  


I liked the idea of add-ons that some others have mentioned as well.  Things like chicken, sausage, meatballs, shrimp (I know you said you don’t like seafood, but it might be a nice option if you know others do), fresh veggies, etc. would be nice since it gives guests the option of “personalizing” their pasta.


Post # 21
2113 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@langloiswedding2013:  A friend of mine was going to do a pasta bar and I was so excited for one of her options and was super disappointed when they changed their minds. They’d found CHOCOLATE PASTA! Like, the dough was made with chocolate. They were going to serve it with a sweet cream sauce. I know you’re talking about dinner, but it sounded too delicious to not mention.

Post # 22
269 posts
Helper bee

@langloiswedding2013:  do you mean prep the pasta the Monday before? Whatever you do, don’t freeze it. Cooked, unsauced pasta ( just tossed in olive oil)will keep 5 days max in the fridge.

Post # 23
2948 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 1998

I always freeze left over pasta sauces but I never freeze the actual pasta as I think it taste weird when reheated. 

Post # 26
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@langloiswedding2013:  I would do a test run of all of this beforehand and get a couple helpers. Maybe a local culinary student. Put an ad out on craigslist offer to pay $100 or so for some peace of mind.


Let’s say your wedding is Saturday.

Tuesday, make your sauces freeze them. 


Friday morning, prepare your pasta al dente tossed in olive oil, like @VossinatorsButterfly:  suggested.

Saturday, boil pasta for 2-3 minutes and serve in pasta bar.

– I did a catering event for work at a church and they had chafing dishes to hold the food. We prepared/re-heated the food 20 minutes before serving it then stored it in the pans.


I would pick 2 pastas, and 3 sauces. I would avoid seafood although yummy, you don’t eat it and it could go wrong quick. 

Post # 27
2496 posts
Buzzing bee

@langloiswedding2013:  I’m a little concerned that you’re attempting to execute a pasta bar and do not know what some of these terms are (al dente, for example). Some of the PP’s suggestions may have been based on the assumption that you would be hiring a caterer. My advice to you is to keep it simple! Here are my suggestions:



• spaghetti

• fettuccine (thicker and flatter)

• penne (short wide tubes) or farfalle (bowtie)



• red (marinara, bolognese)

• white (Alfredo, vodka cream)

• green (pesto)


And above all, listen to @VossinatorsButterfly:‘s tips on pasta prep!

Post # 28
2496 posts
Buzzing bee

@harperlynn:  I would avoid seafood although yummy, you don’t eat it and it could go wrong quick.


Post # 29
561 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

This sounds amazing!! I would also have: Caramelized onions, fresh goat cheese, pine nuts, chopped basil, mushrooms, roasted peppers, chopped parsley, grilled or sauteed zucchini/summer squash! If you have a costco membership, or know someone who does, I recently saw giant bags of gluten free penne (brand was “Ancient Grains” or something, at my Costco it was in the organic section…You could seriously get almost everything at Costco. Think of how much money you’d save!!) That way you’ll be set if any gluten interolerant people show up, and everyone else can still eat it to. And I know if I were a guest at your wedding I’d love a whole wheat pasta option! Whole wheat pasta is my FAVORITE. Man, it’s almost one in the morning, and I’m trying to limit carbs, but all I want in the world is to make some pasta…..

Post # 31
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Vodka sauce and chicken

Tomato sauce and meatballs

Cream sauce and salmon 


The topic ‘PASTA BAR!!! any suggestions on different pastas?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors