One Man Set Out to Make the Perfect Pasta Shape, And it’s So Popular That Orders are Backed Up for Months
When one man just couldn’t find the perfect pasta shape, he did what so many great Americans have done before him: he made his own.
The story of this fun adventure raises many important food-isophical questions, such as “What is the best pasta shape?” and “What attributes do the best pasta shapes have?” and “Who decides what represents an official pasta shape: is there even such a thing?”
Dan Pashman, James Beard Award winner, food personality, and podcast host, decided that whether it was penne, rigatoni, tagliatelle, or tortellini, there was no pasta form which he thought satisfied his desire for “sauceability,” “forkability” and “tooth-sinkability.”
Along the way towards his ultimate goal of the perfect pasta, Pasta.com reports that Pashman traveled to something called the Pasta Lab in North Dakota State University, where he learned at the knees of pasta elders about the science behind the worldwide staple.
Afterwards he went to the factories of Sfoglini, a Brooklyn pasta brand that uses more refined drying and packaging techniques, as well as the finest organic durum wheat to make their shapes. Pasta.com also details that they use bronze plates to roll and cut their pasta on, giving it an imperfect texture that allows sauce to stick more readily.
In a five-part podcast series called Mission ImPASTABLE, Pashman documented the birth of his scientifically and culturally-informed attempt at the perfect pasta. Called Cascatelli, which translates to something like “Little Pasta Waterfalls, they combine Pashman’s favorite aspects of various different pasta forms, and are already backed up on preorder by 12 weeks.
Ruffled edges create a “sauce trough” into which sauce can accumulate, while the use of Sfoglini’s bronze plates give cascatelli that special rustic texture. Forkability, or the ease at which someone can press a fork and lift a pasta without it falling apart, is high, as there are overlapping elements that created more area for deeper penetration.
Lastly, tooth-sinkability has been enhanced by right angles on the formations both above and below the noodle, giving it that lovely al dente nature which Italians need in their pasta.
Altogether, cascatelli gave Pashman his perfect dream pasta, it gave the Sfoglini company a new hit to sell—and it gave the world a new form of wheat-born noodle so good it likely deserves its own Michelin star.
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