How Much Pasta Per Person?

Sticks of dried fusilli pasta

Short answer
75-85 grams of dried pasta per person is the perfect amount for a main course. This increases to 100-150 grams per person for fresh pasta.

Long answer
In America and Canada, recipes are still written in cup sizes. This is a flawed system when trying to measure the right amount of pasta per person because one cup of a tiny shape like macaroni is going to be packed densely, while large tube shapes like rigatoni mean that most of the cup's contents will be pockets of air. The solution is simple: switch to metric and buy some good-quality digital kitchen scales.

Recommended amounts of pasta per person for a main course

Pasta type One serving
Dried pasta 75g
Fresh pasta 100g
Filled pasta 150g

Of course, these are only approximate guidelines. If serving as a starter, we tend to halve these amounts. On the flip side, if we really deserve a treat, we've been known to increase these portion sizes by up to 50%.

As for choosing the right amount of pesto to coat your pasta in, our general rule of thumb is to weigh the pasta and then add 2/3 of that weight in pesto. Again, these are only guidelines because the shape of the pasta and the presence of extra ingredients mean you'll have to tweak the amounts for each dish you make.

How much pesto should I pair with dried pasta?
Note: A standard 190g jar of pesto should be paired with 285g of dried pasta. Meanwhile, a standard 500g bag of dried pasta should be paired with approximately 335g of pesto.

Servings Pasta Pesto
1 75g 50g
2 150g 100g
3 225g 150g
4 300g 200g
5 375g 250g
6 450g 300g
7 525g 350g
8 600g 400g
9 675g 450g
10 750g 500g

What if you accidentally cook up too much pasta? Well, whilst we don't generally recommend heating pesto in anything other than the residual heat of the pasta, there are several cunning ways to reheat pesto pasta if you find yourself in that predicament.