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‘Mission ImPASTAble’ chronicles the creation of a new pasta shape

Behold a new pasta shape, created by Dan Pashman.
(Scott Gordon Bleicher)

With much of arts moving online, here’s a look at a weekly standout.

What: “Mission: ImPASTAble” — a five-part podcast series by “The Sporkful” about creating a new pasta shape.

Why: Dissatisfied with the current selection of pasta shapes, Dan Pashman, host of the popular food podcast “The Sporkful,” decided to create an entirely new one.

The perfect pasta, he concluded, must have the following things: “saucability,” or how sauces hold on to the shape; “forkability,” which is how easy it is to get the pasta on your fork and keep it there; and “toothsinkability,” or, how satisfying it is to sink your teeth into the pasta.

Cascatelli pasta on a production line
Cascatelli pasta is made by the New York-based Sfoglini Pasta.
(Scott Gordon Bleicher)

So he embarked on a years-long process to create a new shape, a journey that’s chronicled on “Mission ImPASTAble.”

Over five episodes, Pashman explains his issues with current pasta shapes and moves on to creating something that will meet his aforementioned requirements. Along the way he consults food experts, invests his own money, searches for small pasta companies to make the product (surprisingly difficult) and deals with many, many obstacles (including a worldwide pandemic).

Because Pashman’s “Sporkful” podcast is billed as a show that’s “not for foodies, it’s for eaters,” the approach on “Mission ImPASTAble” is very casual and conversational. It’s funny and captivating, especially when it comes to Pashman’s emotional state (and his family’s) as the process doesn’t always go his way.

Dan Pashman of "The Sporkful" podcast holding a jar of pickles.
Dan Pashman of “The Sporkful” podcast — “It’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters.”
(Scott Gordon Bleicher)

But it’s also extremely educational about food production — creating a new shape involves everything from agriculture to manufacturing and Pashman explains this in a manner that leaves you riveted.

The perfect pasta — called Cascatelli — was unveiled on March 19. It’s made by the New York-based Sfoglini Pasta and it sold out within hours. Cascatelli was then released in five-pound bag form, and those sold out, too. Now there’s a waiting list for the shape which you can sign up for at Sfoglini.com.

Find it: “Mission ImPASTAble” is available wherever you listen to podcasts, or at sporkful.com.


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