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How to measure servings of dry pasta

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How much pasta do you usually figure for one serving? I'm wondering about ounces. I have, in the past, estimated about 12 oz. for 4 servings. Does that sound right? Or should it be more? I've actually seen recipes that call for 8 oz. for 4 servings which I don't personally think is enough.

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  1. 3 oz per serving is just about what we find to be right, depending on what else we're doing, i.e., less if the sauce has a good bit of meat or if the meal has other courses, a bit more if not, etc. I used to know someone who swore that he and his wife ate a pound of pasta between them at a meal. Both skinny as rails. Go figure.

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    1. re: FlyFish

      Sounds like my friend and his girlfriend, who can each finish a pitcher of beer and half a large (LARGE) pizza for dinner. That's a lotta volume for two skinny people.

      As for the pasta, 3-4 seems right with a light side, 6 sounds right for a big eater, but 8 does seem a bit ridiculous unless you're cooking leftovers to bring for lunch.

      With any pasta that's in stick form, I usually do a handful for two people. Does anyone else measure this way?

    2. Two ounces is considered proper if the pasta is a side dish. For a main dish it is reasonable to double that.

      It's all whatever makes sense. Some sauces are richer and meatier than others. Sometimes a bigger portion of pasta is just more comforting.

      BB

      1 Reply
      1. re: Big Bunny

        My Italian flatmates are extremely strict; 100g (3.5oz.) per person. I find this is too much for me, but I'probably go for that per person if I was having people over and wanted a bountiful bowl of pasta, and none of that uncomfortable I'm-still-peckish-but-don't-want-to-take-the-last-spoonful moment. People usually want to leave something on the serving plate, so as not to seem greedy (or realizing that the serving plate is nearly empty makes them realize how much they've actually eaten). This is ALWAYS true with salads; there's always some left, no matter how big or small the salad.

        Big bunny is right - the type of sauce also affects how much people eat. Meat, cream and egg-based sauces -> less pasta consumed. I also find the pasta shape makes a difference. With bavette and papardelle people always seem to get full more quickly.

        me for (light)lunch: 50g/1.75oz.
        me for dinner: 75g/2.5oz
        me pigging out: 100g/3.5oz.

      2. m
        Mortadella Bodywrap

        I go with 110g per serving, and contrary to opinions already voiced about this, i don't find that my choice of sauce affects my intake. i seem to get full simply when i've consumed a specific volume of food, not a specific number of calories. feeling hungry an hour later is a different matter though.

        when i switched to weighing pasta instead of guessing, i eliminated my frequent problem of guessing wrong. it's easy for spaghetti, but trickier with penne and the like.

        ---Matt

        1. Between 2 and 4 ounces depending on what other courses are to be served. If pasta is the only dish with a light salad - 4 oz per person, if the salad is more substancial or a soup or a side dish is served - 2 ounces per person.

          Marcella Hazan lists 1 lb of dry pasta for 4-6 servings.

          1. I think 3 oz dry per person is about right for a main dish, more or less depending the amount of other stuff in the dish. If I particularly like the side dish or salad that's being served with it, sometimes closer to 2 oz dry is enough.

            In college though, my apartment of 4 girls would polish off a pound (4 oz each) no problem and would definitely have eaten more if we cooked more at a time. For college guys, 8 oz dry even with hearty, meaty sauce was not uncommon.