Photo: Shutterstock/Leon Chong
What if we told you your pasta spoon could do more than just scoop, stir and serve? According to the Internet, it can. Apparently, the hole in the middle of your pasta spoon can double as a portioning tool. (Aka it’s just wide enough to fit the right amount of spaghetti for one person.) There’s a catch, though—this handy hack only works for a specific size of pasta spoon.
Just in case the spoon trick doesn’t work for you, we’ve come up with a list of ideas to help you better portion out your pasta:
The Best Ways to Measure Pasta
Compare to a quarter.
According to the USDA, the proper pasta portion is 2 ounces. If you’re making longer noodles (think spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine), you can measure the right amount by holding the pasta up to a quarter. Once a bunch of noodles equals the diameter of the coin, you have the recommended 2 ounces.
Save a soda bottle.
While the hole in a pasta spoon may vary, the size of a soda bottle opening will always be the same. This makes it a perfect pasta-portioning tool. Fill the diameter tightly with dry noodles to determine how much to cook for one. (Hint: Rinse out your soda bottle first!)
Stick with the scale.
If you have a food scale, you’ll be able to most accurately measure your pasta portion. Aim for 2 ounces of cooked pasta for a single serving or 1 ounce of dry pasta.
Fit in your fingers.
This method is less reliable than the others (after all, everyone has different size hands) but it’s a *handy* trick in a pinch. Make a circle with your index finger and thumb, then fill the center with long noodles. That will be your portion prior to cooking.
We learned this hack from Italian wonder woman (and chef) Giada De Laurentiis. She recommends taking cooked spaghetti noodles and filling a muffin tin with them. Each spot equals one portion of pasta. You can then stick them in the fridge to have for the week or put in the freezer for quick dinners.
Divide and conquer.
Each pasta box will have the number of recommended servings included on the nutrition label. If, for example, a box of penne says it has 8 servings, divvy out the box into 8 separate piles and place them in Ziploc baggies. Now the next time you want to whip up a delicious penne and smoked sausage meal, you can just grab a bag out of the pantry.