Hosting a Pasta Food Swap

by on October 5th, 2010
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Food swaps are gaining attention. Across the country, people are meeting up to swap a multitude of food items. From their garden veggies and homemade jams to soup and baked goods, swapping food is a neat way for foodies to share and showcase their passion. You can host your own food swap with friends. These guidelines will help you to organize a food swap with a pasta theme.

1) – Pasta Food Swap Theme

Pasta is one of the most versatile foods on the planet. I can’t live without having pasta at least twice a week. Nearly everyone has a favorite pasta dish. The beautiful thing about pasta is that almost everyone knows how to cook something using this ingredient. Don’t forget the wine and fresh-baked bread.

Are you lucky enough to have a friend who makes their own wine? Swap a baked ziti casserole for a bottle of wine. If there’s a bread maker in your circle, they can bake some parmesan cheese bread or crusty rolls to swap. Need ideas? Consider the following hot and cold pasta dishes for your food swap:

*Chicken Lasagna

*Crunchy Mac and Cheese

*Chicken Tortellini Salad

*Pasta e Fagoloi (or any soup)

*Fresh Fruit Shell Salad

*Noodle Pudding (noodle kugel)

2) – Number of Friends for Swap

The number of people you include in the food swap is up to you. Obviously, the number will vary by theme, though. It’s sad but true: some people don’t like pasta. A good number to shoot for is between four and six. Remember, you are swapping food, not stocking the larder for an emergency. Of course, you don’t want any food to go to waste.

3) – Cook and Transport Food to Swap

There are many variables involved in a group of people preparing four to six different pasta dishes. The biggest factor is oven space and overall cooking time. For this reason, it’s best to have the food swap guests cook their food at home. Beforehand, you can decide whether the pasta dishes will be swapped already frozen or exchanged hot from the oven.

4) – Divvying Up the Pasta Booty

So, your friends show up for the food swap laden with their pasta riches. I think half the fun of a food swap is ending up with a little of this and a little of that. You might want to trade off serving size portions from each dish. However, you can also swap your entire creamy garlic penne pasta for someone’s casserole bowl of spinach fettuccini.

5) – The Guests Bring Storage Containers

Encourage your guests to bring food storage bags or containers to the food swap. However, if you have extra storage containers, and you’d like to get rid of them, this is the perfect way to dispense of some cabinet clutter.

6) – Rules and Benefits of a Food Swap

As the host of a food swap, you make the rules. Perhaps you want to levy a spending limit to keep the cost fair to each participating guest. Pasta itself is fairly inexpensive. Add all the other ingredients needed to make a recipe and the cost sky rockets. Making a decent lasagna can run into some money.

Feel free to set a limit of say, $15 per each food swap dish.

The benefit of hosting a food swap isn’t so much about saving money. It’s really about highlighting a cooking skill or simply sharing the passion for making and eating great food.

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