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right amount of pasta such as spaghetti per one person either in terms of pound or gram???

hey! usually when i read some of the recipes related with pasta from some cookbooks such as batali's , usually instructions is like 1 pound per 4 persons. so when it was divided into the amount of one person, it seems either 1/4 pound or 110~113 grams. but the dried pasta such as spaghetti i buy usually is packaged as a 500 grams bundle. and in the package it says about 100 grams per person for consuming.
when the recipes in US says pasta is about a pound per 4 persons, could the pound mean roguhly 400 grams rather than either 440 or 450 grams?

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  1. One pound equals about 452 grams. If you have a 500 gram package of dried spaghetti, and you want to serve 1 pound to 4 people, you will have some left over, but not much -- a little less than half a serving will be left over.

    1. Hi, I use a 500 gram package for 5 persons, so yes, 100 grams per person. In Europe, a pound is 500 grams.

      2 Replies
      1. re: damiano

        A pound is 453 grams both in Europe and everywhere else in the world. In my head, I think of 500 grams as being about a pound and, for something like pasta especially, figure accordingly. You don't need to be really precise when you're figuring pasta.

        1. re: Nyleve

          You're right actually. Learned something! In the Netherlands though and I would reckon also in neighbouring countries people still use pound to indicate 500 grams. It used to be set at 500 grams until 1937 or so until the govt decided to stop using a pound as measurement.

      2. Some recipes call for 2 ounces of uncooked pasta per portion but in America, 4 ounces is more typical of what people actually eat as a main course. Another point worth mentioning is that a portion of cooked spaghetti LOOKS like a lot less than the same weight of cooked celentani, pipette, etc.

        1. Just to confuse things further, the Dreamfields low-carb pasta I use comes in 13.5 oz. boxes, or 4.1 ounces less than 500 grams. However, I've found that one box feeds the two of us with more than enough left over for another meal, so 100 grams per person might be enough for five persons, given either enough other food, a rich sauce, or less than ravenous appetites. I know we could have fed another person with what we ate for seconds last night!

          1. Depends (don't wear them yet!). Over the last 20 years our portion size has diminished by over 75% as our metabolism has slowed and out weight gained. W/ 4 teenage boys, the portions were huge, w/ 2 old farts, miniscule. A perfect pasta portion varies from person to person. (I love alliteration.) Know your audience.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Passadumkeg

              +1. A couple of decades years ago I was young, had a fast metabolism, and worked at a job that required a lot of physical exertion. Most nights I'd eat a pound of spaghetti before sitting down to dinner. Now a 2-3 ounce serving **is** dinner.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Passadumkeg parses perfect pasta portions (penne, pappardelle, perciatelli) perspicaciously. Per plate, per palate, per person, per peripatetic pedant - parametric precision prevails. Praise Passadum!


                  1. re: BobB

                    wow! i didnt notice your never-ending-in-a-sentence alliterration even reading it for several times. but if you were more consistent with what he had said, i think it would be much more awsome. but still think brilliant

                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                    Yes, the portions have gotten smaller, and not so much before our weight gain as much too long after! Back when I'd just broken into 200+ territory, I brought what I considered a modest portion of leftover spaghetti to work one day for lunch. As I was scooping the mass - probably about a quart - from the microwave bowl onto my plate, my skinny kid brother came in to nuke his lunch, looked at my plate, and asked, "Merciful heavens, Will, however do you survive on such paltry fare?"

                    When my appetite finally did begin to fade, it was rather late in the day, but better than never.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      My appetite is five years older than my metabolism, and has been for a long time.

                  3. Speaking of gadgets you can probably do without, I picked up a spaghetti measurer at a dollar store a while ago. A flat stainless bar, it has round pockets of various sizes into which you can fit 1, 2, 4... (etc) sized servings of dry spaghetti. Since I like more and my wife less, the sizes work pretty well for us.

                    1. At home I use 4 to one pound of pasta and everyone is plenty full and there are usually leftovers. Seems though 5 grams would be just fine in a mixed group, that is if it's not all men, who generally have a bigger appetite.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        4-to-a-pound is a little more than 110 grams. For convenience in dosing, my husband and I end up using 1/4 kilo (250g) for the two of us, but that's for a "main course" pasta meal with nothing else. For a traditional Italian service where the pasta is an introduction, with a secondo and contorno following, 80 grams/person is more than enough.

                        1. re: lidia

                          But that 4-to-a-pound rule of thumb applies to dried pasta - in most cases that weight more than doubles when the pasta is cooked. I think when I was young and voracious (and never gained weight) I could easily eat that much - not these days.

                      2. In all, how much pasta you use is entirely up to you. There is no correct answer. It depends on what place you give it in the rest of the meal. Is it only for lunch? Or as a first course in an elaborate evening menu? Then you will probably use less pasta than if you're planning to eat it as a single course for dinner. It also depends on what other ingredients you will use. If you use a heavy meat sauce you will probably need less pasta than if you use fresh clams.

                        If I eat pasta I tend to use even less than 100 grams per person. Usually, even when I have pasta as a single course for dinner, I will also have some salad, or small vegetable dish on the side.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: damiano

                          I agree. Depends entirely on how the pasta is featuring in the meal. If it's forming the main, or perhaps only, course for dinner then I use about 100g. Of course, it doesnt affect the dish if its somewhat over or under.

                          In the UK, we continue to have the nonsense of crazy mix between pounds and kilos. It actually doesnt really matter at all, except possibly when you're baking. So, if I use an old recipe that's in pounds, I just work to a kilo being two pounds