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Trying to use NCCDB for my pasta dinner...

So I'm making beef alfredo pasta tonight. Pretty simple, literally 3 ingredients: pasta, beef, alfredo sauce (store bought). I was hoping to use NCCDB entries in my dish, but the calories are sooooo far off for everything I'm being forced to use CRDB (and only get 18 nutrients...). For example my rigatoni box says 200 cal per 2 oz, but NCCDB says rigatoni is 90 cal per 2 oz... Not exactly confidence inducing. Not only that but the Alfredo Sauce, Store Bought is way off. Like orders of magnitude off. My store bought alfredo is 50 cal per 1/4 cup for one jar and 90 cal per 1/4 cup for another (different brand), yet the NCCDB says 1/4 cup is 200 calories. Yikes.

Normally I'd be ok with all these wildy inaccurate numbers, because I can just scale them down to match the calories. But if I do that, the gram amount in my recipe will be off, and when I go to weigh my finale dish I won't be getting an accurate calorie count. Am I just stuck with using CRDB? Or is there something I'm missing here?

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    edited January 2021

    The NCCDB is for cooked pasta, which swells up with cooking water. I'm guessing your pasta box is for uncooked.


    For things with multiple ingredients like the sauce, you have to rely on the label. Yeah, you won't get every micronutrient, but I don't think you should be relying on bottled sauces for them anyway.


    You can fix the weight of the final dish by adding water to your recipe. You can add negative water to reduce the total weight. 🤪 but it works. This is also useful to account for evaporation during cooking.

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    Your quest to optimize your pasta dinner with NCCDB is commendable! It's like seeking treasure in a culinary jungle. I've dabbled in using NCCDB myself, and it's truly a gem for those striving for balanced meals. I find the database's breadth of nutritional info enlightening; it's like having a nutritionist at your fingertips. As for your pasta dilemma, I'd suggest experimenting with various ingredients to hit that perfect balance of taste and nutrition. Don't be afraid to get creative! After all, cooking is an art, and your kitchen is your canvas. What do you all think? Any tried-and-true pasta hacks to share? Let's sprinkle some culinary wisdom and make this thread a feast for the mind! Oh, and if you're ever looking for more foodie inspiration, check out mklibrary.com for some tasty tidbits!

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