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How much food do I make? WWYD?


Scarlett
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We are going to have 4 men and three women for a spaghetti dinner.  I make a spicy sausage meat sauce, and serve with rigatoni pasta. We will also have garlic bread and salad.  So for my family of 3 men and myself I usually use 2 pounds of sausage and a pound and a half of pasta and we have leftovers for maybe two,servings.  

I want to have plenty ---not sure if I should do 4 pounds of meat or just 3.  Wwyd?

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17 minutes ago, ClemsonDana said:

I'd double what you usually make, since you're almost doubling the number of people.  Some women eat a lot, sometimes people eat more when lingering and socializing, and leftovers are always a good thing at my house.

 

And the leftovers can be frozen, too (except for the salad).  

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Wait, I'd just like to make sure I'm understanding. When it is just your family (4 people: 3 males 1 female) = 2 lbs of meat, 1.5 lbs of pasta

And you will be having a dinner party with 4 additional men and 3 additional women over? So the total to be served is 11 people (your family of four plus the additional 7)? Or will the total at the dinner be 7 (your family plus 3 additional)? 

If 7 total, I would double what I usually make (because others are right, leftovers are good and pasta freezes okay)

If 11 total, I would triple what I usually make. 

But I always make too much and end up with leftovers. Because I'm scared of not having enough!

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1 minute ago, Bambam said:

Wait, I'd just like to make sure I'm understanding. When it is just your family (4 people: 3 males 1 female) = 2 lbs of meat, 1.5 lbs of pasta

And you will be having a dinner party with 4 additional men and 3 additional women over? So the total to be served is 11 people (your family of four plus the additional 7)? Or will the total at the dinner be 7 (your family plus 3 additional)? 

If 7 total, I would double what I usually make (because others are right, leftovers are good and pasta freezes okay)

If 11 total, I would triple what I usually make. 

But I always make too much and end up with leftovers. Because I'm scared of not having enough!

No, it is 7 total.  

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Doubling your usual sounds good and it's easy. With 4 females with lighter appetites and 1 male, our numbers are 1 lb of meat and 12 oz pasta with leftovers for 1 person's lunch! But I grew up with 2 older brothers so I definitely understand the difference of male appetites.

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I’ll be the odd vote and say I’d make three pounds of meat. since you usually have two servings left when you use two pounds, I think three pounds is going to be plenty. Plus you’ll have salad and garlic bread. 

But if you want leftovers for lunch you can make four pounds and for sure have enough for that. 

Disclaimer: When we have guests I don’t want to run out of food but don’t want too much left.  It’s kind of like at the end of the potluck you don’t want your dish to be the one only half eaten. 

‘That sauce sounds delicious!!

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For 7 people, 2 pounds of sausage should be plenty, but I would make 3 pounds.  It freezes well and is a good thing to have on hand for quick meals.  I, too, am one who overcooks when I have company, because I have a fear of running out.  

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Since you usually have leftovers I'd make at most three pounds of meat and add either steamed green beans or broccoli (or even both!) - I don't like leftover pasta, and at your usual amount and your usual consumption you already have leftovers. I can use leftover green beans or broccoli in another meal but I can't use up leftover pasta. (Seriously, read this as me saying I'd consider making the usual amount of pasta unless your family's usual servings are teensy. You already have enough food with that for two of your guests, and once you add in the suggested vegetable everybody has plenty.)

Edit: Oh, and I'd plan for a dessert as well, perhaps a nice compote.

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Or you could have an appetizer, such as a vegetable plate, to take the edge of appetites and so need less meat and pasta.

This is probably because of the way my family ate when I was growing up, but I find a hot vegetable side dish with pasta odd.  As I'm thinking about it, when I am served pasta at someone'e house, the vegetable is almost always a salad, served either alongside, before, or after.  

I would probably end up using 3 pounds of meat and and increasing the pasta accordingly, and serve an appetizer, salad and garlic bread.  And then dessert.  But I like to be sure to have enough food. My mom didn't entertain much and she was frugal but she drilled into me that when company is coming, there has to be plenty of food and no worries about running out.  :-)

 

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While I don't like wasting food, I can get a pound of pasta for a dollar or two, so I'd definitely go for having the extra, and just not mixing in the meat and sauce (which will freeze very easily).  From other posts, I think you have rather a light appetite, Scarlett. If you invited me for dinner, you could expect me to eat easily twice as much as you, lol. 

It sounds like garlic bread and salad are already being taken into account. I wouldn't add a green vegetable, simply because that would be seen as a weird thing to eat with pasta and sauce in my neck of the woods, and you would need another plate for it because most people are not going to want their green beans in their rigatoni, lol. A veggie plate or such before dinner would be better, but I don't see it as saving much money or food. 

You probably won't run out of food either way, but sometimes that's because guests will do their best to make that not happen. If food seems scanty, people are going to underserve themselves because they don't want to embarrass you. 

You either cook the perfect amount (rarely happens), don't cook enough (so awkward!), or you cook too much (more expensive in the moment but meat sauces freeze easily).

Double your recipe and have the freezer containers ready to go. 

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Just an aside--So is this a case where there's a regional difference?--When you say "spaghetti dinner," I expect spaghetti, not rigatoni. Is this like the Southern thing,

where all sodas are called Coke, but it could mean rootbeer or gingerale, also? 

Enquiring Minds Want to Know. ?

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I absolutely love spicy food, but if you're not sure about the people coming to your dinner, you might make one pound of sweet Italian sausage with some sauce in addition to the spicy. I think 2 lbs pasta and 3 lbs spicy sauce would be fine, but if it were me I'd make more of the spicy sauce because, as others have said, leftovers are great, or you can freeze them for another dinner.

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You guys who don't have cooked vegetables with your pasta... then you don't have two vegetables with your meal? (Also, do you only put one food on a plate at a time? No mashed potatoes AND steak on the same plate, no green beans AND ham AND coleslaw on the same plate?)

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1 hour ago, Tanaqui said:

You guys who don't have cooked vegetables with your pasta... then you don't have two vegetables with your meal? (Also, do you only put one food on a plate at a time? No mashed potatoes AND steak on the same plate, no green beans AND ham AND coleslaw on the same plate?)

I don't always have/serve two vegetables with my meals. Is there a nutrition rule about 2 vegetables with every meal?  Of course pasta sauce often contains vegetables, or maybe I should say a fruit that we eat like a vegetable but also often onions, peppers, etc.  But we also sometimes have an antipasto platter that includes vegetables, so there's multiple vegetables there. ETA. Just clarifying that we eat salad when we have pasta.

And we do put multiple foods on one plate, but in general pasta with sauce is on its own.  Because, sauce.  I wouldn't want a meaty red pasta sauce flowing into green beans or broccoli.  Steak, potatoes, and a vegetable won't flow into each other, kwim?  

In my experience with others, this is fairly typical, except at, say, a big potluck or a buffet with lots of choices.

But I am one who does not really like foods touching.  But solid foods like steak, potatoes, a vegetable, are usually OK because they are... solid.  ?

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People don't eat vegetables with pasta? Interesting - I've never heard that before. When we have pasta, I make at least two and sometimes three kinds of veggies and everyone piles those on the pasta and then tops it with sauce. Like tonight, we had crispy gnocchi with garlicky mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and butternut squash sauce. It is so good! We don't eat meat or cheese, though, so vegetables are the major part of our meals.

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4 minutes ago, Selkie said:

People don't eat vegetables with pasta? Interesting - I've never heard that before. When we have pasta, I make at least two and sometimes three kinds of veggies and everyone piles those on the pasta and then tops it with sauce. Like tonight, we had crispy gnocchi with garlicky mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and butternut squash sauce. It is so good! We don't eat meat or cheese, though, so vegetables are the major part of our meals.

You seem surprised that people have different food preferences.  When I think of pasta or spaghetti for dinner I think of a tomato-based sauce (and that is what I think the OP is serving), though of course there are lots of different ways to eat it.

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9 minutes ago, marbel said:

You seem surprised that people have different food preferences.  When I think of pasta or spaghetti for dinner I think of a tomato-based sauce (and that is what I think the OP is serving), though of course there are lots of different ways to eat it.

Not surprised about different preferences, just about people not eating vegetables with pasta. Maybe that is a regional thing because it is common to do so where I live. Italian restaurants here usually have vegetables either in the sauce or on the side. 

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3 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

You guys who don't have cooked vegetables with your pasta... then you don't have two vegetables with your meal? (Also, do you only put one food on a plate at a time? No mashed potatoes AND steak on the same plate, no green beans AND ham AND coleslaw on the same plate?)

 

Well, there's pasta primavera, of course. 

People often eat salad with pasta, so they get their veggies, but no, I don't know anyone who routinely eats or serves cooked vegetables with pasta and sauce. 

Of course people put steak and potatoes on the same plate, or green beans and ham. Those foods are polite and stay in their designated area. My preference is for cole slaw to be on a separate plate, because the mayo can be a bit rude and slide into my green beans, but I can be flexible as needed. 

Since I started eating lower carb, I actually found out that I quite like cooked broccoli with most pasta sauces, but it's not something I would serve to guests. I make it a general rule to never serve broccoli to guests at all, because lots of people hate it, and even those that like it agree that the smell is not awesome. 

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15 hours ago, Bambam said:

Wait, I'd just like to make sure I'm understanding. When it is just your family (4 people: 3 males 1 female) = 2 lbs of meat, 1.5 lbs of pasta

And you will be having a dinner party with 4 additional men and 3 additional women over? So the total to be served is 11 people (your family of four plus the additional 7)? Or will the total at the dinner be 7 (your family plus 3 additional)? 

If 7 total, I would double what I usually make (because others are right, leftovers are good and pasta freezes okay)

If 11 total, I would triple what I usually make. 

But I always make too much and end up with leftovers. Because I'm scared of not having enough!

No, it is 7 total.  

I did 4 lbs sausage and 2 pounds pasta. Quite a bit of sauce left over....and just a bit of pasta.  It will be eaten tomorrow I feel sure.  We had a big salad and garlic bread.  

One of my guests is epi pen allergic to chicken so we dont serve that at all when he comes.  

I made an easy appetizer of cream cheese covered in chopped plans and drizzled with honey.  Pita chips to dip it up.  

Dessert was was  cheese cake....of the frozen kind.  ;)   

We swam and  ate and all was well. 

 

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25 minutes ago, moonflower said:

I cannot for the life of me figure out what a chopped plan is.  Cream cheese covered in chopped anything and drizzled with honey sounds wonderful (well, not chopped onions, but you get the idea). ?

 

I was going to ask the same thing! I must know what was on the cream cheese. 

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7 hours ago, arctic_bunny said:

And I’m guessing pecans!

Yes, pecans.  LOL....that is what I get for posting so late at night.  That appetizer is so easy and it was a big hit last night.  Also everyone loved the sausage spaghetti.  I have been making it that way for years and the other day I used some hamburger I had in the freezer and my family was like 'what is wrong with this bland spaghetti!'  Lol. 

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As for the veggie and spaghetti debate.....I often serve broccoli or green beans when I make spaghetti, but it is mostly to have a green, not because it seems 'right'.  And it was interesting to observe my guests last night with the whole 'food touching' issue.  I offereed salad bowls for their salad but no one took me up on it....they just put their salad on their plate. 

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