‘Sporkful’ Podcaster Dan Pashman Creates Cascatelli, a New Pasta Shape

Capping off a banner yr for pasta — during which clients cleared the cabinets of dry varieties, boxed pasta packaging supplies ran out, and the thriller of a bucatini scarcity gripped the nation — a brand new pasta form simply dropped, which apparently is a factor that may occur?? World, meet “cascatelli,” a pasta created by The Sporkful podcast host Dan Pashman and bought by American artisan pasta model Sfoglini.
Pashman got down to create what he thought of an optimum pasta form practically three years in the past, as he documented in a captivating five-part sequence “Mission: ImPASTAble” for his James Beard Award-winning meals podcast. The results of many rounds of designing, engineering, and trial and error, the ultimate product resembles an outsized comma with ruffles on both facet of a curved half-tube. It’s supposed to maximise three core qualities: “sauceability” (how nicely sauce adheres to it), “forkability” (how simply it stays on the fork), and “toothsinkability” (how satisfying it’s to sink one’s tooth into it).
There are solely about 300 distinct pasta shapes, making an allowance for shapes which might be basically the identical however go by completely different names, in accordance with pasta professional and Encyclopedia of Pasta translator Maureen Fant, whom Pashman interviewed for an episode of his sequence. You’ll suppose that leaves the door extensive open for at the very least a thousand extra pasta shapes, however, as Pashman documented, it’s truly not that easy. Lengthy, brief, spherical, flat, ridged, easy, curved, even angular — when you can image it, a form in all probability already exists. Or if it doesn’t, then there’s a purpose why. Seems that designing a form that’s each unique sufficient to depend as its personal entity, sensible sufficient to have the ability to be manufactured at some scale, and attractive sufficient to even warrant being introduced into this world, will not be a stroll within the park. Sorry to all of the would-be inventors whose late-night buzzed concept is “simply mix, like, a macaroni with a mafaldine.”
Early opinions for the cascatelli, which is known as after the Italian phrase “cascatelle” for “little waterfalls,” appear promising. “The folks want this form. It’s like possibly my prime three pasta shapes,” mentioned Sohla El-Waylly, an individual whose meals opinions I usually belief.
I’m in all probability not in the important thing demographic for this product. I’ve by no means purchased a field of pasta that prices greater than $1.50, not to mention any “artisan” varieties. And but even I’m contemplating forking over $21.95 for the 5-pound bulk bag that’s the solely remaining cascatelli out there for buy (and never even for one more eight weeks). Apparently I’m not the one client impressed by the story of cascatelli, a lesson in how goals can come true with the assistance of nice collaborators, practically 10 grand to sink into pasta start-up prices, a big podcast following, a tenacity that simply received’t stop, and most of all, a deep and abiding love for the perfection that’s pasta.

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