One of the meals that we have at least once every week is a pasta dish. Pasta is fairly inexpensive and there are many varieties i.e. whole wheat and lots of great pasta recipes as well. You can make a healthier alternative rather than using ground beef, by using ground turkey and add in some beans for protein or some veggies like zucchini and some diced tomatoes for a lighter yet satisfying meal.
When we make a pasta dish at times, we tend to eyeball it rather than measure or portion, not often keeping in mind that some pasta do double in size as it cooks! Often, we will make enough pasta for the whole block for that night (haha) and more than enough for the next day for us and for the whole block too! It must come from the European in us, being Portuguese and growing up and still today with a weeknight or Sunday dinner being a fantastic feast! We were always taught to make extra food, after all, a full stomach makes a happy guest! We always make extra food at our get-togethers, whether it is for five or twenty-five people! But if it is for you or you and your significant other, or friends and/or family of a few more people, it is great to have some portioning and of course a little extra for some leftovers.
We organize our pasta into jars. Not only does this look nice on the counter but it also saves you some room in your cupboards. How many times do you have bags upon bags of half used pasta, and they just pile up or make a mess in the cupboards? We put the leftover dry pasta into containers which we purchased from our local Discount Store. My space and time saving tip is to put a sticky note at the bottom of the containers and write the cook time and/or how many cups on it! Different pastas have different cook times and depends on how you like it – this way, you do not have to go looking through that box or bag you threw out with the cook time on it! For our pasta dishes, we portion usually 2/3 whole wheat and 1/3 of white pasta. The times vary for both, so we have containers for whole wheat and one for another type of pasta.
We enjoy having our pasta one a week – with a glass of wine, even better! The sticky note and container tip is one of the ways we save on space and by knowing what ingredients we have already it all helps to save some time when making a quick weeknight meal!