When cooking for a large crowd, save yourself some stress, and make a casserole-style dish that can be prepped in advance and baked while the party gets going. Lasagna and macaroni and cheese are great ideas, but if you want something a little more unexpected, try Ina Garten's recipe for conchiglie al forno, an elegant baked pasta dish that's rounded out with radicchio, mushrooms, and a whole lot of naughty additions (think butter, four types of cheese, and lots of cream).
It's rich, hearty, and surprisingly crowd-pleasing. If you don't normally use radicchio as an ingredient, this recipe is perfect for a first-time experimentation. The salty cheese, cream, and woodsy sage tame the bitterness of the purple chicory.