I'm going to my favorite Italian restauraunt tomorrow, and I'm ordering pasta, like always. (Linguine with clams and red sauce- YUM!)
It's my main entree, so it's basically the only thing that I'll be eating. How big would a healthy portion be for dinner?
I always get confused on these types of things!
A normal portion would be 2 - 3oz dry weight or about 6-7oz cooked weight. If you're not sure what that looks like now might be a good time to cook some pasta... nothing like experience for judging portions.
5oz/140g/1 Cup of cooked pasta
I agree with the one cup size. Doesn't seem like much, but if you cook up 1 cup of pasta (one cup cooked, not dry), and add a topping, you will feel full. The beauty of ordering pasta at a restaurant is that you get to take some home and eat it again!
If you haven't thought of this already, you can order your food and when it arrives, ask for a take home container - pack away what you aren't going to eat right away, and eat the rest. Good way to practice portion control.
I think restaurant servings are 2-3 times the size of an average suggested serving, a one cup serving doesn't look like much in a bowl, but when you eat it, it's actually the right size for the average meal (assuming you're not eating to support gain or a huge amount of exercise).
I would eat ALL the clams, because seafood it never as good the next day , and half the pasta. Pack up the rest for lunch.
Restaurants will fill the plate, or bowl to capacity because most customers think they want to see full plates and owners want to advertise the large portions/low price thing, especially since pasta is dirt cheap. I worked in a few restaurants throughout college and each place did the same thing.
Usually, you get around 5-7 oz of pasta on a full plate serving, which is insane. If the restaurant offers half or small size servings, you probably get 3-4 oz, which is still over a single serving, but better than a full plate. On top of that, it's not a whole grain pasta, which some restaurants offer now too.
When I go to pasta houses, I usually leave over half a plate of pasta, so that's probably your best bet. If you like leftovers, you can definitely get two meals, perhaps three, out of most dishes, not too shabby.