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Serving a Crowd

It's hard to imagine that between work schedules, chauffeuring the kids and loads of laundry that there's still time to prepare dinner, let alone take on the task of throwing a party. Even supermoms can't avoid the pre-party jitters that come with serving a crowd. Never fear, Bertolli is here!

Set a Realistic Menu

This is perhaps the most important part of planning any occasion. Know what you can and can't do. Of course you can showcase your grandmother's famous lasagna with her homemade marinara sauce. However, if you're discovering that your time and schedule don't permit standing over a pot of simmering sauce, know there's no shame in a getting a little help from the cupboard.
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  • Instead of grandma's all-day-to-make marinara sauce, try substituting a Vineyard Premium Sauce from Bertolli®. No one will ever know the difference between your family recipe and your secret ingredient.

Relax & Keep It Casual

Your guests are coming to not only to share a meal and lively conversation, they're also coming to relax and enjoy time with you and the other invitees. Serving a simple meal keeps the atmosphere casual. And, plating memorable comfort food immediately makes guests feel at home.

Look for easy-to-make comfort foods. But don't limit yourself to just the main course. Warm soups such as Bertolli® Pasta Fagioli or Garden Minestrone With Pesto work perfectly as a first course and will immediately warm your guests' hearts and tummies.

Plan Ahead

You'll soon find that a well-crafted menu immediately becomes the center of attention and it only takes a few moments to plan ahead. Make certain to create a menu with dishes that can be made in advance or at least partially made and then finished off the day of your party.
Use easy recipes with minimum prep times like Bertolli® Bruschetta. Do some of the prep work the night before. Cut baguettes diagonally into ¾ inch-thick slices, brush the bread slices with Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil and bake until crisp and golden brown. When cooled completely, store them away in an air-tight container or plastic bag. Then the day of the party, take them out and top off with your preferred toppings.

Keep the Workload Under Control

As the chatter of arriving guests increases, you find out it's no fun being the only one in the kitchen. Most guests have a tendency to gravitate to the heart of the home (a.k.a. the kitchen) at some point, so while they're there, ask them to lend you a hand in the final preparations. Have them pass out plates, garnish platters, slice up lasagna or uncork wine bottles. You'll find that they are more than happy help, and will even strike up conversations with anecdotes of dinner parties past.

We don't need to be a supermom to throw a super supper party or feed a crowd. So, relax and enjoy the occasion. All you need is a little planning, a little prep work and a little help from your friends and Bertolli®.