Dan Pashman Invents New Pasta Shape with Perfect “Sauceability” – And It’s Almost Sold Out

It’s also got great "toothsinkability" and "forkability."

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March 24, 2021

Photo by: Sfoglini


Some people have been baking banana bread and nurturing sourdough starters during quarantine and others have been inventing new pasta shapes.

Dan Pashman was inspired to create a new pasta shape a few years ago when he got bored with standard shapes such as spaghetti, penne, farfalle and others.

The writer set out to create a shape that could thrive in any sauce, be easily pierced by a fork, and was super satisfying to bite into. After approximately three years of testing various pasta shapes, Pashman who has no professional training as a chef, invented Cascatelli.

The new shape is sort of like a hybrid between bucatini and mafaldine, but it also boasts right angles, which is rare for pasta. Pashman teamed up with American pasta maker Sfoglini to invent and release his ideal pasta variety.

Pashman describes Cascatelli as “short, flat strip with a bump on one side and two ruffles sticking out the other side.”

According to Pashman, crafting a shape that met all of his requirements was more difficult than he anticipated. First, he had to have a mold of his shape created so it could be mass-produced, and there’s only one man in America who creates said pasta molds.

Then, after initially developing another shape, Pashman had to go back to square one when his first creation began malfunctioning.

Still, the wait and the hard work were worth it. Cascatelli delivered on Pashman’s three key metrics — “sauceability,” “toothsinkability” and “forkability.”

On the Sfoglini website, he defines “sauceability” as “how readily sauce adheres to the shape.” “Toothsinkability,” on the other hand, is “how satisfying it is to sink your teeth into it,” and “forkability” is “how easy it is to get the shape on your fork and keep it there.”

He’s particularly proud that his pasta has right angles. “That right-angle element is really key to what I think makes this shape different, Pashman told NPR. “There are very few pasta shapes that have right angles. 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.”

As for the name Cascatelli, which is Italian for “waterfalls,” Pashman didn’t want to break with tradition and insisted on finding a moniker that had a connection to the pasta itself. “My favorite pasta names are the Italian word for something the shape looks like, so I tried to follow in that tradition,” he explained to Today Food. “I wanted a name that would sound like a classic pasta name. If you hold the pasta vertically, the ruffles look like flowing water.”

Click here to try some Cascatelli for yourself, but hurry up because the pasta newbie is selling out fast!

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