There are at least 600 known types of pasta, the staple food of Italy, that people across the world eat today. It is believed that pasta made from semolina flour and referred to as Italian noodles came to Italy in 1154 AD. Some historians believe that it is a descendant of the Asian noodles and came to Italy from China. Today, most countries of the world have created their versions of this traditional Italian delicacy.
Cooking pasta is simple and straightforward – one of the reasons why it is such a preferred food by masses across the world. The only tricky part about cooking pasta is the ‘measure’. For, it is the measure that finally defines if you had the correct sauce-to-pasta ratio or the wrong one. As a home cook, the assumption that to serve the perfectly cooked pasta, one needs to pour any amount into the boiling water that they think is right would be the wrong place to start.
Here, we are sharing the top five types of pasta measures you weren’t aware of.
As per the United States Department of Agriculture, a single serving of pasta – which means for a single person – 2 ounce is the right measure. That equals approximately 57 grams approximately. Some cooks and chefs determine the pasta serving quantity depending on whether the pasta is to be served as a starter or as a main course. The other factor that needs to be considered is the type of pasta that is being cooked. As a general thumb rule, however, for a single serving (per person), 2 to 4 ounce of dried pasta, and 4 to 5 ounce of fresh pasta is considered as the right measure.
- Dry Spaghetti or the Long Pasta Measure
Traditionally, you would use the pasta measure like a spaghetti measure that is easily available in stores. Ellementry’s wooden pasta measure is the perfect measure which can bring you closer to your pasta goals The measure has holes that help you with portioning for at least four servings. You can find the measure online on Ellementry’s website.
A measure that works well but quite unheard of is to use your hands. One of the best and the easiest ways to measure the long pasta is to pick a bunch of the spaghetti in the palm of your hand encircling the pasta. The bunch that you can accommodate easily between the thumb and the forefinger is right for one pasta serving measure, which is usually 2 ounces.
The other method of measuring long Italian noodles is to use the pasta spoon. The serving spoons have a hole in the middle, the diameter of which is the right size for portioning one single serving of cooked pasta.
Another interesting method that is used by Italian chefs is to fill a muffin tin with the cooked spaghetti. One tin is equal to one serving. In the US, dry spaghetti is measured using the quarter – the diameter of the coin is approximately equal to the bunch size or circumference for one serving. Some people get innovative and use the open mouth of a dry soda bottle, fill it with long dry noodles to get the right measure to cook for a single person.
- Macaroni measure
Since pasta noodles tend to double up when cooked, to measure penne for one person, you can take half-a-cup of dry pasta in a measuring cup to get close to that perfect measure.
- Penne measure
One method that is unique but works wonders is to pour out the dry penne into the container in which you would serve the cooked pasta. Determine before-hand the point to which you would want the cooked pasta to fill up the container. Now, when you pour the dry noodles into the bowl, stop just before reaching that point.
Measuring cups and measuring scales are also good to determine the right quantity for a single serving. Ellementry has the perfect set of measuring cups which can be used to make just the right proportion of penne pasta serving you wish to make. In the case of penne pasta, 2 ounces of cooked pasta is equal to 3/4th of the measuring cup filled with dry penne.
- Lasagna measure
The way to understand the right measure for lasagna for one person is to use two sheets of lasagna. This equals 2 ounces.
- Fusilli measure
To measure the right quantity of fusilli for one serving, use a measuring cup. Half of the cup is equal to 2 ounces of dry fusilli pasta. When you cook this, it doubles up to fill the cup to the brim – just right to serve a single person.
Since there are so many different types of pasta noodles, it is difficult to categorize all under one heading and determine the right measure. However, if you are someone who loves to experiment and would want to try your hand at cooking different pasta types, then one general rule for measuring the correct pasta serving is to follow the division rule. This is quite simple. When you buy a box of pasta noodles – whatever be the type – the packaging will contain details of the total serving of the box content. The division rule says that you empty the box, take out the contents, then divide the dry pasta with your fingers, into the number of servings mentioned on the box. Try and make equal parts, as much as possible. Now, each part is equal to 2 ounces or one serving. You can have the divided parts placed in zipped containers or bags and store them. Each time you need to cook, take out the zipped bags and cook a delicious meal of pasta.