i'm cooking 2 large tin pans of food - to feel about 80 people a medium amount - of italian food for our international festival at school (there will be several other stations of food from other countries). we've settled on my turkey-ricotta meatballs and some kind of pasta dish...because i'm working witih a budget, i'm thinking some kind of baked ziti because i think it will be less expensive by far than lasagna.
i think i can figure out the meatballs...i know my own recipe using 3 pounds of turkey will produce about 65 big meatballs and if i cheat a little...double the breadcrumbs (which still won't be too much) and make them a little smaller, i'll probably get a good 100 meatballs. so i'll double that recipe and get 200 meatballs.
but how do i figure out how much ziti/pasta to cook and how much sauce and cheese i'll need?? i've never cooked in such a large quantity before. i'm guessing i'll need to boil the pasta in stages and then assemble.
anyone who usually cooks for large groups want to offer any advice on execution and best use of budget? also...how to figure out quantities?