Everything You Need To Know About Cascatelli, The World's Newest Pasta Shape

After three years, The Sporkful podcast host Dan Pashman has finally completed his quest to create a new shape of pasta, according to Eater. The new pasta, in the comma-like shape you can see above, is called cascatelli, a poetic misspelling of the Italian word cascatelle or "little waterfalls." 

According to the product description on the website of Sfoglini, the American pasta artisans that have helped Pashman bring the concept to the market, this new shape highlights the three qualities Pashman believes are essential to any pasta: saucability, forkability, toothsinkability (via Sfloglini). The first refers to how well it clings to sauce. The second to how pliant it is to forks. The third to whether biting into it truly satisfies. Apparently, no previous pasta satisfied these requirements equally.

"I have always had a lot of opinions about food," Pashman said to Cool Hunting with some self-awareness. "Fusilli, it's hard down the center and mushy on the outside. Spaghetti, spaghetti is not that great — it's round so it has a low surface area in relation to volume so it's not tactile. We can do better." 

Currently, you can pre-order a 5-pound bag of cascatelli pasta for $4.39 per pound or $21.95 in total. Due to an overwhelming demand for the new pasta shape, any order made will ship in approximately eight weeks. 

This new pasta shape started with a podcast

This new pasta shape first came into existence through Pashman's five-part series "Mission: ImPASTAble" for The Sporkful. It makes for good listening, not just because of the turmoil involved in inventing a whole new pasta, but through Pashman's exploration of the pasta industry and culture behind the food. For example, in episode one, Pashman talks to Maureen Fant, translator of the Encyclopedia of Pasta, learning that there are over 300 different shapes of pasta and well over 1,200 different names for them "but that's not all of them." Fant also expresses doubt that the spaghetti that Pashman so scorns can't fulfill his needs, if cooked properly (via The Sporkful).

Evidently, Pashman didn't listen and, apparently succeeded. For when in the final part of "Mission: ImPASTAble" Pashman finally unveiled the new frilled, half-tube shape to guests, it received laudations from all, including chef Sohla El-Waylly, chef Jet Tila, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.