You know it when you see it. It’s the implement you use to dole out pasta, but its name is far from agreed upon; for retail purposes, it’s called anything from a pasta fork to a pasta ladle to a pasta spoon to a spaghetti server. But it’s not like you have to address the thing before you serve up your carb-laden cuisine (although “tortellini trowel” is not yet copyrighted.)
This pasta utensil has a distinctive design which is incredibly utilitarian. The prongs embed themselves in the tangle of pasta easily and the drainage hole in the center allows the water to easily filter out when going in to test for readiness. But, as it turns out, that hole has another use that is often overlooked.
Take out a handful of any strand pasta of your choosing, and then slide as much of it as you can through the hole in the utensil. That pasta amount is approximately one serving. You’ll never have to worry about making too much pasta ever again.
Now, while on the topic of the delicate process of pasta prep, here’s the science behind salting your pasta water.