Patience above! My favorite pasta producer Daniel Pashman has come out with new shapes of pasta! This is bad timing for I am trying to lay off carbs for awhile. These lovelies will have to wait for awhile.

Urs Truly loves pasta and not just any but proper pasta, no rubbish types. I am bored with the usual ho-hum shapes like spaghetti, linguine, and ziti (oh the horror).Those are good in a pinch and I would never say ‘no’ to any pasta but I like the atypical types. What I look for in a pasta shape are Mr. Pashman’s four criteria:

“Forkability”: how well does the shape stay on a fork.

“Tooth feel”: how satisfying is the sensation to bite down on the thing

“Sauce-friendly”: does the shape hold onto the sauce well.


It’s jolly good fun!

About two years ago this fine fellow (suspected to be well over four feet) decided to invent a new shape of pasta, trying to capture all four of those elements. He was up against great impediments. He would have to get a pasta producer to try his design and do so during the pandemic. It would have to compete against established shapes and pasta snobs.* He invented a shape cascetelli (as in cascade). To his credit it was a great success. I’ve had some and it does meet the four mentioned criteria. During the pandemic I bought a bunch of boxes of the stuff and ate them with relish.

But Mr. Pashman is not one to rest on his rigatoni. He didn’t make new ones but scoured Italy for some rare or out-of-use shapes to ‘reinvent’ them adding a few touches. He recently came up with these two:


Inspired by Mt. Vesuvius where the pasta originates, he gave it a bit more twist and added ridges (for your pleasure). I think this one looks great to use in Mac and Cheese dishes. One of my brothers says it looks like a swirl of soft-serve ice cream while another brother sees it as the ‘poop emoji’. That’s a picture!


This looks one like four bits of bucatini around a hollow tube, just perfect for holding onto sauces. I bet it bites well too.

Someone has asked courteously I leash my pasta lust and not buy a closet-full of either, so I won’t. I don’t want all those carbs (at least for now) and it isn’t something I can do on the sly and hope he won’t notice that pantry is up to its oxters in pasta.

As for more traditional shapes I enjoy the following:


These bad boys have some ridges (for my pleasure) and stay on the fork and feel good to the bite as well and on top of that they have a funny name that translates into “priest chockers”. The story goes once upon a time some gluttonous pastors ate this pasta and choked to death. This is a nasty story and hopefully not true but it reminds one not to eat too much or too quickly, for chocking on a priest is not good.**

If I am going to eat long pasta I like bucatini as it has some ‘bite’ to it. It feels more satisfactory to bite than bland and boring spaghetti. I won’t eat Tagliatelle given my training in biology/parasitology. This long ribbon pasta is quite unappetizing in its associations. Enough said.

What pasta shapes to you use and like?

Do you have any fixed rules what goes with what?

*You’ve heard of ‘The Grammar Police’? Well there is a group I call “The Pasta Police” and they are far more judgmental. Woe to the cook who serves the ‘wrong’ pasta in the cooking. I’ve seen card carrying members of the PP raise a huge fuss seeing what they believe is improper matches. When questioned what’s the matter they often say ‘it just is” rather than provide any logic. In their defense there is a genernal recommendation to serve thin pasta types with lighter sauces and heavier/chunky pastas types with heaver sauces. All the same I think it quite rude to tell another what you are eating isn’t right or doesn’t work.

**I will let myself out.