Known as “the perfect food”, pasta is an easily-produced plant based food that has low carbon, water and land footprint in its production line. It is also an easily stored, energy-dense food that is simple to make, simple in content, embraced around the world and added in so many diverse dishes. Aside from all those benefits, it can be prepared in delicious ways!
In 2014, about 14.3 million tonnes of pasta was produced in the world, required by an ever growing demand. Unfortunately, much of the pasta produced never gets to be consumed. In the UK alone, it is estimated that around 27% of avoidable food waste is cooked or prepared food and a values worth of £830 million per year is wasted due to thrown away leftovers from cooking . Considering how present pasta is in our diets and the amounts of prepared food thrown away every day, pasta leftovers is certainly a common finding in our food waste bins.
However, even for those who are aware of the food waste issue, it’s hard to know how much pasta will be just right for the amount of people you’re cooking for! When uncooked, there are some good quick tips to better plan your pasta meals and have no leftovers. For spaghetti or fettuccine pasta, there is a simple technique to cook a good portion simply by hand measurements. Below, there is a figure to better illustrate:
For one portion, fit in pasta to fill the gap between the tip of your thumb and the joint of your index finger marked with the number 1. For two portions, touch the tip of your thumb and the joint marked as number 2. Finally, for three portions, touch your thumb and the the tip of your index finger, marked ‘3’ .
For other sorts of pasta shapes, bear in mind the volume normally doubles, and around 60g (½ to 1 cup) of cooked pasta is normally good for a serving. Therefore, around 30g (¼ to ½ of a cup) of dry pasta is enough for one serving .
However, if you already have cooked too much pasta, and you don’t know what to do with it, you can try out:
- Pasta For All. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.pastaforall.info/wordpress/pasta-is-a-perfect-food/
- Ventour, L. (2008). The Food We Waste. WRAP. Retrieved from: http://www.ifr.ac.uk/waste/Reports/WRAP%20The%20Food%20We%20Waste.pdf
- International Pasta Organization. (2014). The World Pasta Industry Status Report 2014. IPO. Retrieved from: http://www.internationalpasta.org/resources/World%20Pasta%20Industry%20Survey/IPOstatreport2014low.pdf
- How to Measure Dry Spaghetti Servings. By PyroGadgets. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA-rFCx2ZaI&noredirect=1
- Nutrition with Amy (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.nutritionwithamy.com/129/
- Pasta Fritta photo credit: charlesprogers.com
- Pasta Muffin Bites and Sweet Cinnamon Pasta Bites photo credit: Maya Visnyei – walmartlivebetter.com