Sometimes a whole mountain of pasta sounds amazing after a long day. However, on most nights, you're likely trying to make an appropriate portion per person and not end up with tons of leftovers you need to use up.
So how much dry pasta should you make? About 2 ounces of dry noodles per person is a good place to start, according to the brand Barilla. But 2 ounces looks different for every type of noodle, so measuring using a kitchen scale might be more helpful.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, there are a few tips you can follow to get the correct amount of noodles. If you prefer spaghetti or fettuccine, the circumference of the dried noodles should be about 2 1/8 inches. Another simple trick is to pull your spaghetti spoon out and put the hole in the middle to good use. That’s right — the hole in the center of the ladle is to measure out about one serving size of spaghetti noodles.
Because other pastas don’t have the same long, thin shapes as angel hair, linguine and spaghetti, you can measure them by the cupful. Dried ziti and penne noodles take about 2/3 of a cup to make a serving. A serving of elbows, mostaccioli and rotini is about half a cup of dried noodles. And two more common noodles, farfalle and rigatoni, can be cooked to make a serving using 3/4 cup of dried noodles.
Considering pasta has such a long shelf life, it’s a good food to have stored in your pantry for days when you don’t know what else to cook. The next time you attempt to make dinner at home feel like a restaurant, use these tips to cook your pasta perfectly every time.