Introducing Cascatelli — The Revolutionary Pasta Shape That Is "Perfect" For Any Sauce

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Dan Pashman, a podcaster, spent three years creating a new pasta shape (Credit: Stoglini.com)

With over 120 pasta sizes and shapes available, one would think there was a design to satisfy every palette. However, Dan Pashman, host of James Beard and Webby Award-winning podcast The Sporkful, was unhappy with the available options. So, the food-lover spent three years, and a substantial amount of his personal savings, to create cascatelli — a new pasta shape that is purportedly more functional than any available today.

Pashman's noodle-design journey — documented in a five-series podcast dubbed Mission ImPASTAble — began accidentally in 2018. During a live performance at New York's Caveat Theater, the podcaster expressed his frustration with spaghetti. “The Lady and the Tramp did a great disservice to American culinary history by romanticizing spaghetti," he grumbled. "You know, what we should have taken from that movie is that it's a pasta shape that's only fit for dogs."

Cascatelli combines the best attributes of mafaldine and bucatini (Credit: Stoglini.com)

He augmented the seemingly outrageous comment with an explanation saying: “[Spaghetti is] round on the outside. That means it is a low surface area in relation to the volume, that means that sauce doesn't adhere to it well. It means less of it contacts your teeth when you first bite it."

The audience's reaction to his criticism of the world's most popular noodle inspired Pashman to create a pasta shape that fulfilled three criteria: saucebility, forkability, and toothsinkability. "So forkability, which is how easy is it to get it on your fork and keep it there?" Pashman explained to CBS News. "Sauceability. How readily does sauce adhere? And toothsinkability, which is how satisfying is it to sink your teeth into it? And a lot of pasta shapes are great at one or two of these three things. But very few nail all three."

Cascatelli boasts sauceability, forkability and toothsinkability (Credit: Stoglini.com)

Pashman munched through every pasta shape available before settling on two favorites — mafaldine, a fettucine-like noodle with ruffles down the edges, and bucatini, a thick spaghetti with a hole in the center. Teaming up with North Dakota State University's Pasta Lab and a few food professionals, the podcaster combined the best attributes of both pastas to create cascatelli. "I would describe the shape overall as a curved comma or half a heart," Pashman told Salon.com. "On one side, there's ruffles, and in the space between, you've got a dugout, kind of a half-tube that just traps sauce in there. It's amazing."

Creating the perfect shape was not Pashman's only challenge. He also had to convince a pasta company to manufacture the new creation. Luckily, artisan food company Sfoglini agreed to take a chance and the rest, as they say, is history! The first batch of 3,700 boxes of cascatelli, which hit the market in early March 2021, instantly sold out, and there is currently a wait of almost 10 weeks for those wishing to get their hands on the world's most "perfect" pasta shape!

Resources: Smithsonian.com, NPR.com,Odditycentralc.com, www.sfoglini.com

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213 Comments
  • phebe
    phebeMonday, June 7, 2021 at 5:31 pm
    Yummm
    • 29zabraham
      29zabrahamTuesday, June 1, 2021 at 9:11 am
      I eat pasta alot. This will be perfect!
      • dani1409
        dani1409Monday, May 31, 2021 at 7:51 am
        I want it so much!!!!!!
        • cyberdoctor96
          cyberdoctor96Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 8:04 am
          GIVE ME IT!!!!
          • cyberdoctor96
            cyberdoctor96Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 8:03 am
            HOW SOON CAN I GET IT!!!!!
            • cyberdoctor96
              cyberdoctor96Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 8:01 am
              ALL HAIL THE ALMIGHTY PASTA!!!!
              • cyberdoctor96
                cyberdoctor96Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 8:00 am
                I MUST GET THAT PASTA!!!!
                • mattchien
                  mattchienTuesday, May 25, 2021 at 7:11 am
                  cool! I wanna try some of that!
                  • roseofbutter
                    roseofbutterThursday, June 3, 2021 at 8:37 am
                    When is it going to be sold in stores? I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!
                  • alphadog
                    alphadogMonday, May 24, 2021 at 1:04 pm
                    It looks really good
                    • tigersblood848
                      tigersblood848Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 4:03 am
                      Cool! It looks like it would taste good. I'm not surprised it sold out so quickly!