Hey there. Any suggestions for an outdoor family picnic that is pot luck style? It will be hot but would like to bring something substantial as well as a salad type of thing. There will be a crowd there (75 people).
Foodstuffs: 1# medium pasta shells - cook and drain per instructions (reserve 1 c cooking liquid), 1 1# can each diced tomatoes and chickpeas - drained (reserve 1/2 tomato juice), 4 T onion - minced, 1 T garlic - minced, 1 t each fresh oregano, sweet basil and parsley - chopped, 2 ea T sweet butter and olive oil
Process: While the pasta is cooking (starting when you turn on the heat to boil the water), bring a heavy bottom saucepan to med-high heat. Melt the butter with the oil, stir so the butter doesn't brown. Sweat the onion and garlic until just limp (about 3 minutes), add in the herbs and sweat for 2 minutes, stirring. Add in the tomatoes, chickpeas and tomato juice, stir and reduce to low heat. When pasta is done, return tomato-chickpea mix to high and stir in the pasta water, cook to thicken slightly. Mix the "sauce" and pasta. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese.
I like to eat this cold, like a pasta salad. If I do that, I'll add a light touch of oil and vinegar base Italian salad dressing to it, tossing it to coat the pasta, tomatoes and chickpeas.
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