The newborn pasta

Among the thousands of pasta products already in existence, the arrival of a new pasta is always an event, so we invite you to discover “Cascatelli”, the new born pasta.

“The great connoisseurs know that there are pasta and pasta, each with its own consistency, its own specificity and a flavour that goes better with a particular sauce. The thick Bolognese sauce goes well with tagliatelle, while the herb and lemon butter sauce is perfect for farfalle. “The perfect shape of pasta is one that provides a satisfying bite, holds just the right amount of tasty sauce and clings easily to the fork,” says Dan Pashman, host of a culinary podcast, The Sporkful. He has turned this formula into reality by creating a new, jagged, hollow, 90-degree curved dough shape called cascatelli, from the Italian word for waterfall. Pashman talks about how the dough, created in collaboration with Sfoglini, came about in a podcast called Mission: ImPASTAble. He began his quest for the pasta dough by buying multiple varieties, tasting and researching the various types available on the market. Eventually, he was inspired by the tubular appearance of bucatini and the serrated shape of mafaldine because these pasta shapes met the three specific criteria Pashman was looking for to create his ideal pasta, namely “Forkability, Sauceability and Thoothsinkability”. In other words, a dough that is easily grasped by the fork, perfectly coated by the sauce and has a nice texture under the tooth.

To develop his recipe, Dan Pashman first turned to the Pasta Lab at the University of North Dakota, which specialises in the development of durum wheat for pasta production. North Dakota grows most of the durum wheat used for pasta. After consulting with scientists, he set to work himself, spending days and even nights designing different pasta shapes.
The first obstacle he encountered was that his basic preparation did not fit firmly into the usual mould. So he had a bronze mould prepared. Once the cascatelli was finished, he had to convince a company of the quality of his innovation to produce and market it, spending $10,000 to complete his project. The online journal Salon hailed his success: “Thousands of pieces of pasta later, those sketches became a real business when the cascatelli finally saw the light of day inside the Sfoglini pasta factory in New York’s Hudson Valley.”

Testimonials from the pundits of Italian cuisine in the US speak volumes about its performance. “We love the texture of this pasta. It holds the sauce and the fork well,” agree husband and wife Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, who run the famous Don Angie Italian restaurant in New York City. The cascatelli has even won the approval of a doyenne of the genre, Maria Gialanell, who came to the United States from her native Italy in 1961 and now delights connoisseurs with her specialties at Enoteca Maria on the edge of Manhattan.

The woman everyone calls Nonna (grandma), for her succulent home cooking, said, “They’re good, good!” as she chewed on Pashman’s creations. The first batch of 3,700 boxes of cascatelli sold out quickly online, and a new shipment is expected soon. “We are more than delighted with the incredible impact of our new pasta shape.

Due to high demand, orders placed now for cascatelli will ship in about 10 weeks. We really appreciate your patience. We promise you it will be worth the wait,” says the website of Sfoglini, the cult American pasta maker, which sells for $4.99 per 500 gram package.

OLJ / By Irene MOSALLI , 14 April 2021

Translated with (free version)