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Cooking Spaghetti & Meatballs for a Crowd

 I'm cooking a spaghetti & meatball dinner for 100 people. I'm not sure how much pasta or how many meatballs per person I should use. Can you give me some advice?

 As if all meatballs are created equal — sheesh! Figure on 2 ounces of dry pasta per person, or 12-1/2 pounds of uncooked spaghetti; a half-cup of sauce per person, or 12-1/2 quarts of sauce. For the meatballs, use the following amounts:

20 pounds ground beef (chuck is best)
2 dozen eggs
1-1/2 cups Worcestershire sauce
5 cups chopped parsley, or a mixture of parsley, oregano, and/or other favorite herbs
20 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Salt & pepper, to taste
Oil for frying

If you don't have salads, side dishes, and a delicious dessert to go with this dinner, you might boost the amounts of at least the pasta and sauce 15% to 20%, to make sure everyone has enough.

Now, whether you make a single large meatball for every guest or dozens of small ones, what is the greatest sin inexperienced meatballers make? They overhandle and overpack the meatballs, which makes them dense. If you shape them lightly, they stay tender and juicy. Use only about one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch of oil in the pan to fry them.

And, of course you don't want to make a single large meatball for each serving. It would be hard to get it cooked through before the outside was singed beyond recognition, and it would just look weird.

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