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Pasta serving sizes

Fat Guy

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I measure out as much as will fill about half the dishes I'll be serving. Usually, I'm cooking for two, so I measure out what looks like one generous serving. If the pasta is fresh, I generally measure out what would be the actual, needed number of servings, but make them skimpy, to allow for the water that will be absorbed.

Edited by Mjx (log)

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Nakji, what's the size of a package where you are? Pound, half kilo, something else?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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A standard Italian rule of thumb is 80-100 grams per person of dried pasta. 80 seems to be the amount of pasta one might have if the pasta is followed by a protein. But my family never makes any more than 80 per person regardless of what does or does not come after. I think it's a decent portion.

Having said that, I make no less than 250 grams for my Stepson and sometimes up to 400 for him. Depends on your appetite!

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I usually cook a whole box 12 to 16oz for 2 people, then eat any leftovers for breakfast/lunch

the Ravioli that I am making tonight say that each package is 3.5 servings, I will make 2 packages for 2 ppl with sausage meat in tomato sauce.

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80gish dry pasta per serving in our household.

I generally make the whole bag (500g), depending on how it was sauced

and whether we are having a protein course we are left with 4-5 portions

for lunches, or whatever (there are 2 of us).


--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I weigh out 2 oz per person. If it's being served with chunks of meat sausage, meatballs, or lots of "stuff", then it's 6oz for 4 servings. Took some getting used to after many years of having no idea what a reasonable portion of pasta looked like.

(I'll confess, though, that sometimes when it's just me, I cook 8 oz of pasta, toss it with olive oil and an obscene amount of garlic and a whole can of roasted chickpeas, and eat it directly from a serving bowl.)

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When I'm cooking pasta just for myself, I'll use half a pound and split the finished dish into thirds, two of which become lunch later in the week. My math skills work this out to a bit less than 80g of dry pasta per serving.


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Usually its just for me, and usually between 1/4 and 1/3 pound (one pound is the size package I typically buy) for a dinner.

It skews to the lower end for heavier sauces, or if there's a side or a large salad involved. Higher, obviously, for lighter sauces and less side dish bulk. When I was working, and wanted leftovers for lunch, I'd cook 1/2 a pound routinely.

Edited by Pierogi (log)


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Most pasta comes in half-kilo packages, and the two of us almost always demolish half a package for one of our spartan evenings at home (pasta with some sort of cheeseless vegetable sauce, or maybe tuna, or puttanesca) followed by a salad. For dinner parties I can feed five with a half kilo, but I rarely get change from the same half kilo with four at the table. I'll push it to six per package if we have a humongous secondo, like a major fireplace pork grill (the annual "maialata").

The Italian rule of thumb is 100 grams per serving, and more like 80 g for something rich like cacio e pepe (though not in our house, where 80 g per person, however it's dressed, would be met by derision and protest). Italian recipes think you can get six servings out of a half kilo, which you can only if one of your guests is one of those annoying birdlike eaters who practically counts out four rigatoni. If your condiment is something voluminous like cauliflower or broccolo romanesco, which is usually served with penne or rigatoni, you can get away with less pasta, and in fact those are good to remember if you're trying to trick yourself into eating less pasta. I always make the same half package anyway, but may have leftovers, which is fine -- and rare. You might think our dining table was on an incline and everything not nailed down winds up at the other end. I'm not mentioning any names, but the battle cry is "No prisoners!"

Some time ago I starting weighing out the pasta in preference to eyeballing the amounts, and I must say it makes life easier.

Maureen B. Fant


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I like my carbs so for me it's usually half a pack. I always serve up 1/2 -2/3rds of it, thinking it's too much, and then end up coming back for seconds.

I sometimes use a bit over half a packet, leaving myself with a dilemma for next time!

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I sometimes use a bit over half a packet, leaving myself with a dilemma for next time!

Yes, if you stick you carefully weighed out halves and quarters, you don't wind up with a collection of odds and ends. Also from that point of view it helps to stick to the same shape and brand. Every so often I take all the odd bits and combine them in a pasta al forno, then start over.

Maureen B. Fant


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I cook 100g of dried pasta per person but serve less than this. The remainder is for second servings or subsequent recycling as a follow up meal (typically reheating quickly in a frypan).

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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I second Maureen's take on this.

When we had the restaurant in Italy, 100g was the portion size.

For spaghetti noodles, I figure on one handful per person, and the handful is the diameter of a quarter.

I've also been known to bellow: "Small, medium, or large?" to the assembled diners and then take my cue from there.

And eventually we have a dinner with odd sized noodles.

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