How Much Spaghetti Per Person?

Bowl of piping hot spaghetti

Short answer
You should allow 75g of dried spaghetti per person if serving as a main course, or 120g if using fresh spaghetti.

Long answer
There's a plethora of gadgets to help you measure how much spaghetti you need per person. Some are functional, some are ugly, and some are rather beautiful. They're undoubtedly more reliable than using the flawed 'cup size' system which American cooks' favour, but no number of gizmos can ever compete with digital kitchen scales. In fact, scales are the only tool you'll find us using to measure the weight of any ingredient.

Spaghetti measuring tools

We like our spaghetti (and, come to that, our linguine, fettuccine and bucatini) to be al dente, so we always opt for dried pasta. The fresh alternative is great for some dishes, but it offers a very different eating experience. Because it has never been fully dried, there's simply no way to replicate that toothsome al dente texture.

Fresh spaghetti
If your only option is fresh spaghetti, then 120g per person is about right if you're serving it as a main course. Reduce this to 50g-60g if serving it as a starter (which is how most Italians enjoy eating pasta).

Dried spaghetti
75g is the recommended portion size for a main course of dried spaghetti. However, we've been known to increase this to 100g if we're feeling particularly peckish. 40g per person is about right for a starter.

No scales? No gadgets? No problem.
If you find yourself completely scuppered, there's a wonderfully low-tech way to measure spaghetti portions. Simply pinch your thumb and index finger together and push the pasta through the hole created. That's roughly four portion sizes.