We love pasta in our house. Ask Marisol what she would like for dinner any day of the week and she would tell you pasta, her favorite being Penne. The hardest thing I find with serving pasta for dinner is taking out certain ingredients from dishes to suit each person.
I'm also a huge fan of getting the kids involved in the kitchen. We normally have one night a week where it's a 'make your own' night. Whether it be putting your own toppings on pizza, or making tacos or burritos. So last night I decided to set up a pasta bar in the kitchen and let everyone choose their pasta, their toppings and their sauce. Everyone loved it. For the first time there was no-one picking out what they didn't want to eat, no-one complaining about the type of pasta I used and everyone ate all of their dinner.
- La Romanella Organic Penne Rigate
- La Romanella Organice Fettucine
- Grilled Sweet Italian Sausages (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- La Romanella Salami
- Zucchini (sliced and halved)
- Mushrooms (sliced)
- La Romanella Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Mini Heirloom Tomatoes (halved)
- Artichoke Hearts (diced into smaller pieces)
- La Romanella Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Garlic (crushed)
- Onion (diced)
- Fresh Basil
- Salt & Pepper
- French Bread – sliced and warmed in the oven
Here is my biggest tip. You are not going to be able to fit everything on the stove so that it is all warm when dished up.
Grill the sausages ahead of time, put them in a baking dish, cover with foil and pop into the oven to stay warm.
Use individual baking dishes (I have a collection of small Culinary Colors Bakeware Dishes), put in a little olive oil and separate the vegetables into each and pop into the oven for roasted vegetables. I was a couple of dishes (and space) short so I combined the sundried tomatoes, artichoke, garlic and onion into one which I used in place of the pasta sauce for my pasta dish.
On the stove, you then have space for 2 pots for pasta, a steamer for any vegetables you don't want to grill (which I used to steam the asparagus) and a pot to warm the pasta sauce.
This would make a great casual dinner party idea with friends too.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post (and received a giant box of La Romanella products) as part of the #LaRomanella #sfsmarties campaign for Collective Bias.
La Romanella products are available at Smart & Final.
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Wow, this is genius! We do lots of different food bars, but never thought of this one. And we’re Italian and eat lots of pasta, and I have some picky eaters at home. Thanks for such a great idea!
We are big into food bars in our house too (our favorite being baked potato bar). Your food always looks way better than ours, though 🙂
Thank you so much. I must say I love choices too. Even hubby had 2 bowls so that he could try it 2 different way. Sunset magazine, now wouldn't that be nice :).
I would love to try a baked potato bar. Marisol ate her very first mashed potatoes at preschool the other day, I'm *this* close to getting her to eat a baked potato I think.
Thank you so much. I'm always looking for ways to get the kids to try new foods and have a stress free dinner :).
Your food bar looks very professional…should truly be in Sunset magazine. I know it would be a hit w/the kids but what adult doesn’t like choices! Great post.
what a great idea! I host a dinner party a few times a year for a handful of friends and this would be great for that! Thanks for sharing!
Ooh i love this idea! This makes preparing a meal for multiple tastes so much easier!
The Art of Being You
Can the boys and I move in, pretty please!
It is like EDIBLE ART!!!! So FANTASTIC!
Wow that is such a great idea. Why haven’t I ever thought of that lol We love pasta here but my oldest doesn’t like marinara sauce and we both don’t like sausage yet every one else does. I am going to have to keep this in mind next time I do a pasta night. Thanks for sharing!
I shared on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter. Good ideas should be shared 🙂
It looks like I died and went to heaven. My kind of food!
Ha. So glad you liked it Connie.
WOW, thank you so very much.
I saw the KM and thought no, it couldn't be, not my favorite photographer/blogger commenting in my little world. Oh Katherine Marie, if only I could leave comments on your wonderful site, I would profess my love for your fabulous ideas, tips and photographs. Your fire safety posts were so absolutely fantastic. And the photographing baby tips. Wonderful.
OMGosh, what a freakin’ smart idea!!!
I have used the food bar idea for tacos and ice cream sundays but never pasta. What a great idea, expecially with picky children.
Some days it's just easier to make everyone happy and not fight the battle with the picky eaters :).
This is the perfect idea for my tiwns birthday party as all they ever ask for for dinner is nu-nu’s! Noodles (pasta) of any sort is their fav – thanks for the fantastic idea – 3rd bday done!
I really like this idea! I am Currently attention a vocational school and im taking Culinary Arts, and we have to do a project and I found this. Its amazing Im gonna use this idea.
That looks like fun! Did you have a lot left over? No one wants to eat left overs at my house so I’d end up eating it for lunch forever lol.
We had just enough left over for lunch the next day for everyone 🙂
Do you add oil to keep the noodles from sticking? Or is there another tip?
Yes, I would add oil to keep them from sticking.