Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Weighing Ways to Use Your Noodle

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Weighing Ways to Use Your Noodle

Article excerpt

NOODLES save my sanity on a weekly basis. There's only one problem. I always have pasta left overatFa.

So how much is enough, but not too much?

Most boxes of dried pasta list 2 ounces as an entree serving, but unless you have a kitchen scale, this can be confusing. For example, 2 ounces of dried macaroni measures half a cup, while 2 ounces of ziti fills a whole cup.

And while dried pasta expands when cooked, I never quite trust that 2 measly cups will really expand enough to feed my hungry family.

After months of guessing (and usually being wrong), Beverly and I decided to nail down this mystery once and for all. We spent most of a morning weighing, measuring and boiling. Here's what we found:

In practically every case, 2 ounces of dried pasta - regardless of shape - really is a reasonable portion for most adults, provided it's served with a typical sauce of vegetables and meat. Vegetarian recipes such as macaroni and cheese may require a slightly larger amount per person. If you have toddlers, teen-agers or carbo loaders, you'll need to increase or decrease accordingly.

Here are the exact measures we determined:

Orzo (rice-shaped pasta, also called rosamarina): Two ounces dried measures 1/3 cup and yields 1 cup of cooked orzo. To feed a family of four, cook 1 1/3 cups dried orzo.

Macaroni (and other short noodles): Two ounces dried measures 1/2 cup and yields 1 1/3 cups cooked macaroni. To feed four, cook 2 cups dried macaroni.

Ziti (and other medium-short noodles): Two ounces dried measures 1 cup and yields 1 1/2 cups cooked ziti. To feed four, cook 4 cups dried ziti.

Spaghetti (and other long noodles): Two ounces dried yields 1 cup cooked spaghetti. To feed four, cook an 8-ounce box of dried spaghetti. Since you can't fit long noodles in a cup measure, you'll need to go by dry weight or learn what 2 ounces looks like. To help you visualize, 2 ounces of dried spaghetti held in your fist would make a circle exactly the size of a U. …

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