Pasta Bar

Today we’re discussing the perfect way to feed a bunch of people a cozy and nutritious and delicious meal this holiday season.  As a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network, I was asked to contribute this sponsored post for the #PastaFits campaign.

Let’s get into the details of this customizable pasta bar.  

Yay, pasta! Yay, party! Yay, YOU!

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So the hardest part of this pasta bar is finding 9 identical bowls to fill.  I really wanted 9 of the same white bowls, but I don’t have 9 identical white bowls.  Do you? I’m jealous if you do.  Minor detail.

All you do is choose:

3 pasta shapes

3 sauces

3 toppings


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For pasta shapes, I went with linguine (Remind you of that movie Ratatouille? Me too.),  whole wheat rotini, and macaroni.  Some may say macaroni is the best pasta shape because it reminds them of eating a warm bowl of mac & cheese.  To those people I’d say, you are right.  It is the best pasta shape.  Not to pick favorites but…

So then guests come into your gorgeously decorated holiday house (I’m sure you’re a better decorator than me sooo your house will look awesome).  Then they pick their pasta shape of choice.

Linguine? Don’t mind if I do.

pasta bar |

After the pasta shape choice has been made, guests will look over the sauce options.  If you’re like me, you’ll make 1) an easy bolognese sauce, 2) a miso cauliflower sauce, and 3) a kale walnut pesto.  Guests can choose one sauce of all three.  Two of the sauces are rather veggie-filled giving guests a chance to load up on some veggies this holiday season.

Then they’ll move on to the pasta topping options, which include the cutest cheese (i.e. baby mozzarella balls) + parmesan, oven-roasted tomatoes and garlicky greens.

AND all your guests will likely realize the tomatoes + kale pesto look very christmas-y when placed next to each other.  They will say, how festive of you.  Red green red green red green<3<3<3 faaalalalalaaaa lalalalaaaa.

So many pasta combinations.  So little time.  

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Pasta Bar


miso cauliflower sauce
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon miso
5-6 cups cauliflower florets
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup milk

kale walnut pesto
4 large kale leaves, pulled from the stem
1/3 cup grated parmesan
¼ cup walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon garlic
¼ cup olive oil
juice & zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon pepper

easy bolognese sauce
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 cup favorite pasta sauce (I used a vodka sauce)

garlicky greens
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 cups kale, leaves pulled from stem (or other green)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

oven roasted tomatoes
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


miso cauliflower sauce
Heat butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add in garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant.  Stir in miso and cook for 1 minute.  Pour miso garlic butter into a blender and set aside.  Bring 4 cups vegetable broth to a boil.  Add in cauliflower florets and boil until fork tender, about 7 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to add steamed cauliflower florets to the blender.  Into the blender, also add salt, pepper and milk.  Blend until smooth.  You may need to add a bit of vegetable broth to thin the sauce, but it's up to you.

kale walnut pesto
Heat a pot of water to boiling.  Add in kale in batches and cook for 30 seconds.  Then plunge kale into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Use a slotted spoon to scoop kale into the bowl of a food processor.  Add all remaining pesto ingredients to the food processor.  Process until smooth.

easy bolognese sauce
Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.  Add in 1 1/2 cups favorite pasta sauce.  

garlicky greens
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Stir in garlic and toast for 30 seconds.  Add in kale and stir frequently until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in sea salt.

oven roasted tomatoes
Preheat oven to 400ºF.  On a baking sheet, toss together tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

cauliflower sauce inspired by Pinch of Yum

kale pesto inspired by Love & Lemons

pasta bar |

the mozzarella balls look like marshmallows.  Happy, happy.


  1. i want to have a party that focuses on nothing but pasta after this post. 

  2. Ooh that miso cauliflower sauce sounds so good!!!!! Did you end up trying the miso-glazed cod? Sign me up to definitely host a pasta bar party this winter, omgah so brilliant.

  3. This looks great! Did you do 1lb of each pasta type? What parts of this could you make the day before?

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