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I followed this pasta recipe some days ago. I wasn't aware of the amount of people it was intended to serve, which is 6. I followed it completely but I am serving 3 people.

If I were to reduce the quantity of the ingredients by half, should I treat all the ingredients in the same respect? For example, I might of want to reduce the amount of cheese because the difference between 5 ounce of cheese and 2.5 ounce is quite large. I think it is a matter of personal taste, but should I reduce them equally in order to achieve the best result?

Serves 6

1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon plus more for garnish
1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well)
Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
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2 Answers 2

For most recipes, if I'm halving the servings, I'd halve everything. If the amount of cheese is insufficient at the half quantities, you'd probably find it was insufficient to begin with. That all said, looking at the recipe you've posted, if I was making that I'd probably find myself not really measuring anything in there and adjusting everything to taste...

The one exception might be the oil. As you're cooking things, you probably still need a minimum amount to coat the pan... Maybe someone can think of something else that wouldn't warrant being halved, but I can't.

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For most dishes involving something as simple as a pasta and sauce, linear scaling works fine, certainly downward. You're more likely to have issues scaling up on a recipe like this, particularly if salt or salty ingredients are measured precisely.

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