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What's the best way to measure how much Spaghetti/Linguini is 1-portion. I know there are tools which basically measures the diameter of the bundle of dry spaghetti. But are there simpler tricks which don't require any tools?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Well, one obvious answer is to look at the number of portions in the box. (This is found in the nutrition information.) Then divide the amount in the box by the number of portions.

I just pulled down a box of linguine from my shelf. One pound yields eight 2 oz. portions. Which means all you have to do is divide in half three times. It won't be exact, but you'll get pretty close.

(To get exact, you could always count the number of noodles then divide by eight. But that's WAY too much work.)

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+1 for the simplicity. – Todd Chaffee May 3 '11 at 1:34

Italians weigh it and it's really the only fail-safe way. Using a kitchen scale with a big bowl on top should work for just about any pasta shape. 40g for a small portion, 100g for a big plate full. Cooked volume will depend on the type of pasta, but with spaghetti for example about 55g of dry will produce about 1 cup of cooked spaghetti.

This agrees with @Martha: 2oz = about 57g and 1 cup cooked sounds like a reasonable serving size. Even if I would eat more :-)

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Italian "weighing" in: all Italian households I've ever visited weigh the pasta using a scale. – drxzcl May 1 '11 at 19:54
Italians do use weight because in Italy there isn't a measure of capacity used in cooking that is similar to the American cup; if an Italian recipe makes a reference to "1 cup of milk," it's not referring to an exact quantity. – kiamlaluno May 2 '11 at 1:36
@kiamlaluno, how would you measure spaghetti or other hard pasta in a cup? :-) True you don't often find measuring cups in Italy but that's for a good reason. Weight is a far more accurate measure than volume. – Todd Chaffee May 2 '11 at 2:18
@Todd Chaffee I live in Italy since I was born 41 years ago. I can assure you it's not a matter of do something the smarter way; it's just a matter of habits. As far I can see, there are pros and cons using the weight or the volume. – kiamlaluno May 2 '11 at 3:02
Oh boy!! Did I just trigger off the weight vs. volume battle??.. – notthetup May 3 '11 at 15:16

For spaghetti or other pastas with a small cross sectional area:

  • hold a bunch of dry pasta in one hand and a beer bottle top in the other
  • fit the end of the spaghetti bunch into the beer bottle top
  • this amount is a small-medium sized portion for 1 person

...although like Todd Chaffee said, I would eat more :)

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Count them! 100 spaghettis are a good portion (100g circa) for 1 person. As for linguine, since they're a bit thicker I would go with 75 of them.

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I have a Joseph Joseph spaghetti measurer. It looks like a camera aperture and measures up to 4 servings.

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I was wondering the same thing, and then I thought about it and this is the way that I do it...

One cup of cooked spaghetti noodles is one portion. One plate or half of 2-cup bowl is about 1 cup or 125g of spaghetti noodles. Unless you really are hungry you probably cannot eat more than 2 whole portions.

fyi... 1 portion of noodles is about 200 calories.

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Welcome mckinneykev - I believe the original question was asking about dry pasta although it doesn't specify. Your method will work for cooked noodles. – Debbie M. Jan 15 at 18:37

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