Dan Pashman, creator and host of the James Beard award-winning food podcast The Sporkful set out to accomplish the unthinkable and invent a new pasta shape. But why? There are already dozens of strands, twists, tubes, and coils. “I wanted to create a food that people didn’t know they needed,” says Pashman. As a pasta lover, he felt none of the existing classic shapes fit all three of his criteria for “forkability” (how easily the pasta stays on the fork), “sauceability” (how well sauce clings to it), and “toothsinkability” (how easy it is to experience the joyfulness that comes from biting into a really good noodle). For three years, Pashman chased his dream to the end, ignoring naysayers, consulting with designers, die makers, food experts and producers, encountering obstacles, and spending his own money. “The fun of the journey was me trying to win people over,” Pashman explains. He chronicles his experience and brings you on his adventure on his podcast in an entertaining and compelling series called “Mission: ImPASTAble” (sporkful.com). You learn that Hudson Valley manufacturer, Sfoglini Pasta, eventually collaborated with Pashman and last March introduced his noodle, called cascatelli, to the world. Slightly longer than other pasta shapes, cascatelli is a curved half-tube with a trough in the center and ruffles on the sides. The noodle’s name was inspired by “cascate,” the Italian word for waterfalls. Produced with North Dakota durum, textured and chewy, what lands within the ruffles can’t escape, which makes it ideal for smothering in meat sauces, pesto, and cheese ($8.95 to $9.95 for 16 ounces). Sfoglini Cascatelli By Sporkful is now available at Formaggio Kitchen locations; The Fresh Market, 11 Essington Drive, Hingham, 781-740-2066; Eve & Murray’s Farm to Home, 525 Mass. Ave., Acton, 978-429-8381; Nan’s Rustic Kitchen+Market, 271 Great Road, Stow, 978-616-4100; or go to sfoglini.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.