Food / March 30, 2021

One man’s dream to create his own pasta shape comes true

sporkful podcast new pasta shape Cascatelli
Food / March 30, 2021

One man’s dream to create his own pasta shape comes true

By Emily Mullen

The pasta sold out in under two hours

After three years of trying, Dan Pashman has achieved his long-held dream of creating a new pasta shape. A strange dream, you might think, unnecessary even since there are already 300 types of pasta, but Pashman did it. Listeners to his podcast Mission: ImPASTAble will have heard the hoops jumped and the lengths taken, to produce the new pasta shape, that’s now being shoved into pots of salted boiling water right around the US. From meetings with naysayer to the headscratcher of picking a producer to sinking thousands of dollars into changing the pasta shape by a minuscule amount, the process as documented by Sporkful podcasters was anything but al dente.

It seems that the market was ready for a new shape of pasta, as the first run of cascatelli produced by American artisan pasta brand Sfoglini, sold out in less than two hours. That or the promotion of the award-winning podcast did the trick.

Made from durum semolina flour and water in a Hudson Valley, New York facility, the cascatelli does appear to hit Pashman’s prescribed definition of what makes a good pasta shape. Cascatelli was created for maximum “forkability” (how easy it is to get the pasta on the fork and keep it there), sauceability (how well the pasta shape holds sauce), and “toothsinkability” (how satisfying it is to bite into).

Taking inspiration from pasta shapes like bucatini and malfade, cascatelli which poetically means waterfalls in Italian has a springy half-tube that acts like a sauce scoop, the unusual feature of right angles which provide a satisfying resistance to the bite.

“I spent several thousand dollars and pushed the release of the shape back months, all to add half the thickness of a credit card. But I have to say it was worth it,” Pashman said of his product.

The first run boxes of cascatelli have all sold out, Pashman has described the demand as “overwhelming”. Sfoglini have hinted towards a second production of the pasta, but have as yet not confirmed anything.

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