If you’ve ever listened to his podcast The Sporkful, you know that Dan Pashman knows a lot about food. He’s won a James Beard Award for his work on it, and has emerged as an enthusiast for great food and the joys of eating.
What happens when someone who’s spent a lot of time analyzing the shape of food and the process of eating decides to apply that knowledge to creating something new for diners to appreciate? In Pashman’s case, you develop a new pasta shape.
A new article at NPR chronicles Pashman’s work developing cascatelli, a new pasta shape designed to hold more sauce when you’re eating it. The name is Italian for “little waterfalls.” With all apologies to TLC, plenty of people are chasing these particular waterfalls — pasta maker Sfoglini is currently sold out of them and is taking preorders that are expected to ship in 8 weeks.
Pashman told NPR that the presence of a right angle is one of the things that makes this shape distinctive. “There are very few pasta shapes that have right angles,” he explained. “It provides resistance to the bite at all angles. It creates kind of like an I-beam, and that makes for a very satisfying bite.”
The process of coming up with this shape and turning it from a concept into something that people can cook took several years; not surprisingly, Pashman has documented the entirety of the work leading to this point. It should make for fascinating viewing the next time you sit down to devour a bowl of pasta.
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