What’s the Big Deal About Cascatelli, the New Pasta Shape?

What’s the Big Deal About Cascatelli, the New Pasta Shape?
Credit: Sfoglini Pasta

It’s not often that we witness history being made in the world of food. Sure, we come across fresh ways of cooking popular dishes. And even find ourselves getting excited about on-trend ingredients (like when Brussels sprouts were having a moment). But a true history-making moment is rare.

That is what we’re experiencing right now, friends. A brand new pasta variety has been born, and it’s pretty thrilling.

As The New York Times has reported, the fresh pasta shape is the baby of Dan Pashman, James Beard award winner and host of the podcast The Sporkful. Pashman spent three years working on what he calls “Mission: Impastable” and the final result is a new addition to the pasta famiglia: cascatelli.

The pasta, which has been named after the Italian word for waterfall, has been designed to master the three key qualities of any good pasta variety (according to Pashman).

Sauceability: How readily sauce adheres to the shape
Forkability: How easy it is to get the shape on your fork and keep it there
Toothsinkability: How satisfying it is to sink your teeth into it

What is Cascatelli pasta?

Cascatelli is a kind of short-shape pasta, but as Sfoglini Pasta (the brand who assisted Pashman in development) shares, it is a longer cut than most, meaning there’s more room for “fork insertion”. The pasta also uses the bucatini half-tube shape and ruffles which are both particularly effective in catching all your sugo. To get this specific shape, a brand new bronze pasta die (the device pasta dough is run through to give it shape) had to be built.

There was also a lot of thought put into the satisfaction that comes from sinking your teeth into this pasta. According to Sfoglini Pasta, the work of sensory scientists was reviewed in order to master this. The pasta’s variations in thickness and ruffles, multiple textures and right-angled sections were all introduced for this reason.

The NYT suggests pairing the pasta with a simple pasta sauce like classic tomato and basil, carbonara, pesto or arrabbiata.

For the moment, the variety is on backorder but you can order to Australia from the Sfoglini Pasta website here (though, as some of you have flagged with us already, the shipping cost is steep).

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