There’s nothing quite like a big, comforting bowl of pasta. Penne, cavatappi, linguine, cheesy, pesto-y, topped with parm, it always hits. And thanks to food podcaster and pasta aficionado Dan Pashman, American grocery shoppers now have three more pasta shapes to choose from.

Pashman is the host of The Sporkful, an award-winning food podcast on which he “obsesses about food to learn more about people.” He began his pasta production journey in 2018 because he felt that “the common pasta shapes most people are eating are just not that good.” Mission: imPASTAble documents Pashman’s three year journey to invent a new shape, actually get it made, and sell it.

I have to admit, I was a doubter at first. Pasta is already amazing, could it really be that much better? But I’m happy to say I was proven wrong. Cascatelli by Sporkful is now the only acceptable complement to my mom’s famous marinara sauce, and luckily for me it’s available in grocery stores nationwide (and even has its own Wikipedia page).

But even after the resounding success of cascatelli, Pashman wasn’t done bringing better pasta to the people. In early 2022, he set himself a new mission. He would work with Sfoglini Pasta Company, the original producer of cascatelli, to find and produce a few obscure shapes that “have been languishing in the dusty corners of the pasta canon.” What pasta canon, you ask? Well, by some estimates there’s around 350 different pasta shapes out there, most of which you sadly can’t purchase at Publix.

Pashman wanted to bring a few deep-cut, hidden gem pasta shapes to the American market. But (if you couldn’t already tell) he’s a bit of a perfectionist, so these shapes had to be truly exceptional. He dove into extensive research, tasted all kinds of weird and wonderful pastas, and even traveled to Italy. Finally, in early 2023, Pashman and Sfoglini launched two new shapes: quattrotini and vesuvio.

As a long time Sporkful listener and cascatelli convert, I was obviously very excited to taste the newly revived shapes. I finally got my hands on the quattrotini and vesuvio a few weeks ago, and promptly cooked up some delightful pasta dinners. I scored the shapes using Pashman’s own core pasta criteria: sauceability, forkability, and toothsinkability.


Moriah House

Quattrotini (known as Cinque Buchi in Italy) consists of four smaller bucatini-style tubes surrounding a larger tube. The Sporkful’s version is slightly longer, with ridges added to the outer tubes for extra sauceability. I tried it with my mom’s delicious meat sauce and loved its dynamic toothsinkability. Each bite was truly an experience: geometric, toothsome, bursting with sauce…if you think pasta is boring, you gotta try this one. And if you don’t think pasta is boring, please still try it. I’m looking forward to pairing quattrotini with a clingier sauce that it can really soak up, such as lemon artichoke cream sauce.

Moriah House

Sauceability: 9.3/10

Forkability: 8.7/10

Toothsinkability: 10/10


Moriah House

Vesuvio (named after Mt. Vesuvius) consists of a volcano-shaped pasta swirl with an opening on top for maximum sauce containment. I tried it in the viral TikTok tomato feta pasta (yes I know I’m a bit late to the trend), and it was a sublime combination. The spiral shape held the sauce beautifully, creating a flavorful cheesy burst in my mouth. Honestly, it was just super fun to eat! I think vesuvio would pair amazingly with any kind of cheesy or creamy sauce, and would also be perfect in pasta salad!

Sauceability: 10/10

Forkability: 9/10

Toothsinkability: 8.4/10

Without Mission: ImPASTAble, I might’ve gone on forever thinking pasta couldn’t be any better. But thanks to Pashman’s quest for noodley perfection, I’ve realized that the pasta-bilities are endless. Sorry, I know that was cheesy.

Where can I get the new pasta shapes?

Vesuvio and quattrotini are available for purchase online through the Sfoglini website, in six-packs or in a six-box variety pack, and recently launched nationally in The Fresh Market and in Texas's Central Market.