Hot puppies! My shipment of pasta is on its way!

Seasoned Spo-fans know I am crackers for pasta; if I could get away with it I would eat some daily. According to DuckDuckGo! there are ~ 350 types of pasta. My soul swoons. Would I could experience as many shapes as possible! Unfortunately Uncle Albertsons sells only the basics: spaghetti, penne, linguine – those sorts. These aren’t bad (heck it’s all the same stuff) but the same shapes gets boring over time. Therefore I am on a mission to find and experience the atypical and exotic-shapes of macaroni and try as many of as I can. [1]

Last year on his podcast “Sporkful” Mr. Dan Pashman decided to design a new shape of pasta. He wanted to capture the three aspects of pasta into one new type. [2] His journey was an arduous one; he was up against a lot of obstacles including the covid19 situation. However, he pulled it off and his creation, christened ‘cascatelli’, became an internet hit. I put in my order for some in May and only yesterday did I get the good news my order has been shipped and on its way – along with three boxes of other types that struck my fancy:

Reginetti: these look a bit like small lasagna noodles.


Zucca: they resemble pitted bell peppers or carved pumpkins


Campanelle: they are sometimes described as trumpets, but to my eye they look like exotic flowers.

Campanelle – the dears!

I have to find some really good no-nonsense no-rubbish recipes for these precious pastas. No ‘Ragu’ for these lovelies, thank you very much! [3] Happily, I have heaps. My accordion file is bulging with recipes clipped from countless food magazines. This weekend I will do a study to match meals to pastas.

This is a good time as any to bring up the belief certain pastas go with certain sauces. Thems who believe this sort of stuff can be a bit crazy on the topic. They become horrorstruck seeing the wrong sauce applied to the wrong pasta. I’ve read some ‘guidelines’ but not strict no-no rules. Since I’ve never cooked these four new pastas I don’t know ‘what is proper’ and perhaps it is better I don’t know but go with my instinct of what sounds scrumptious. [4]

This all is terrible timing as I vowed to make the month of August a good one for diet and lo! a cascade of cascatelli is congregating on my doorstep. I may squirrel them away for Sept/October, which gives me time to figure out what to cook with them.

That is my Spo-rapture on a box of pasta – four of them to be exact.

Do you have a favorite pasta shape? What do you do with it? Has anyone tried cascatelli?

[1] I am sometimes use ‘macaroni’ as a synonym for pasta. Oceans of ink have been spilled on the subject writing on whether this is true or not. Please don’t write in.

[2] Sauceability: How readily sauce adheres to the shape of the macaroni.
Forkability: How easy it is to get the shape on your fork and keep it there.
Toothsinkability: How satisfying it is to sink your teeth into it.

[3] Urs Truly doesn’t actually buy/use Ragu. My favorite pasta sauce in a jar is Rao’s and Victoria’s. They have honest-to-goodness good taste. They cost more than the usual types of pre-made stuff, but they are worth it.

[4] On the other hand, Spo-fans with experience in this sort of matching are welcome to provide recipes that would go well with the macaronis mentioned. I prefer Spo-fan recipe to those from Gourmet and Bon Appetit.