I love making spaghetti. I like to think I can make it pretty well, but I’m getting better all the time.

I want to improve, but I’m not sure I can unless I write down everything I’m doing. I’ll ignore the protein and just do a pesto sauce so I don’t have to simmer anything:

to make spaghetti

  1. in a large stock pot, put 5 cups of water on heat 8

  2. add S g salt

  3. measure P g pasta, add once boiling

  4. stir for 60 sec, set 10’ timer, lower to heat 4

  5. at T-0, collect 1/2 c of the pasta water, drain

  6. add a tiny bit of lemon juice to the pasta water

  7. add pasta back with olive oil, stir, add pasta water, stir

  8. add small jar of pesto sauce, stir

  9. add protein

  10. serve w/ cherry tomatoes and shredded parmesan

Work in progress.

S = about 5 g

P = let’s do 56 g * N servings

Constraints

1. the box of pasta

A box of pasta holds 454g of pasta: 8 servings of 56 g

But this hardly matters, once you have a kitchen scale, and don’t mind weighing your pasta down to the noodle. So I should just get some tupperware, zero the scale, and measure out 56 g servings from here on out.

2. the sausage

This one also doesn’t really matter. Sausage at Kroger comes in 16 oz trays, or 18 oz trays of 5 links, or 14(?) oz trays of meatballs.

At about 1/3 lb servings, it’s most convenient to make N = 3 or N = 6 servings. But it’s not so hard to portion sausages or meatballs. Trays are still hard to separate without thawing, which I don’t even do now.

3. the sauce

green sauce

This one matters the most, I would argue. A small jar of pesto is a bit much for N = 3 servings, in my opinion, but would stretch thin at N = 6. The jars I have are all either N = 2.5, 3, or 4 servings. Which seems pretty generous, I’d say. It’s a generous amount of sauce on what I thought were generous amounts of pasta. More data needed to confirm good serving size.

I think 4 servings on a 2.5- or 3-serving jar is about right, and 5 or 6 servings on the larger 4-serving jar.

Perhaps I should buy some basil, or parsley, and pine nuts, and just add my own fresh substitute.

Or perhaps I should just stick to red sauces, which seem a bit easier.

red sauce

A large jar of Mid’s sauce is 32 oz / 907 g of tomato-y greatness. N = 7 servings.

You could use “half”, and refrigerate the rest, but 3.5 servings isn’t much better than 7, and a 4/3 split seems like it would not work out. I hate finding old pasta sauce in the fridge.

So sauce-wise, I can make either 4, 5, 6, or 7 servings. That could be good, the choices.

Experiment

I think I should try cooking:

  • 5 servings of pasta (w/ 2 lbs meatballs, 1 jar pesto)

  • 6 servings of pasta (w/ 2 lbs meatballs, 1 jar Mid’s)

and expect the first to be slightly not saucy enough and the second just about right. I expect one of them to have the right amount of meatballs, but I’m not sure which.

This might take a couple weeks.