Sfoglini’s Cascatelli Pasta Has Arrived on Our Menu

cascatelli noodles
Photo credit: Scott Gordon Bleicher

The name cascatelli comes from the Italian word for “waterfalls.” Take one look at these rippling strands of pasta and you’ll see why. 

All those ripples aren’t just there for beauty. This pasta was invented by Dan Pashman, the host and creator of the Sporkful podcast, who designed it with three key elements in mind.

dan pashman with cascatelli
Dan Pashman in the Sfoglini factory, Photo credit: Scott Gordon Bleicher

The first, “sauceability” is a term introduced to the pasta lexicon by Pashman. It refers to a noodle’s ability to grab and hold onto sauce. The ruffles and ridges of each cascatelli noodle hug sauce tightly, creating a perfect dish of pasta where each bite is composed of the ideal ratio of sauce to noodle.  

Pashman also craved a noodle with perfect forkability and toothsinkability. His ideal pasta is easy to eat with a fork. It can be stabbed and lifted without noodles slipping all around the plate. Toothsinkability refers to the satisfying texture of each bite.

Pashman partnered with Sfoglini Pasta to bring this new noodle into the world. Sfoglini Pasta is an artisanal pasta company founded in Brooklyn in 2012. Co-creators Steve Gonzalez and Scott Ketchum share a serious passion for pasta. Gonzales worked as a chef for over 14 years, creating the handmade pasta for beloved New York restaurants like Hearth, Roberta’s, and Frankies Sputino. At Sfoglini, he oversees all things culinary, ensuring their pastas match the standards of any high-end kitchen. Ketchum oversees the creative side of the brand, drawing on his 18 years of experience as a designer in New York and San Francisco. Today, Sfoglini produces over 25 types of pasta, including cascatelli, in their Hudson Valley factory. Each batch of cascatelli is extruded through a bronze die, which creates a slightly rough surface that helps even more sauce cling to these noodles.

blue apron cascatelli dish
Creamy Calabrian Shrimp & Cascatelli

To complement the unique texture of cascatelli, the Blue Apron team created a recipe Creamy Calabrian Shrimp & Cascatelli with Salsa Verde Zucchini. After reviewing the recipe, Dan Pashman approves:

Ever since I invented cascatelli, people have been asking me what they should cook with it. I think sauces that are thick and/or creamy are fantastic, because the shape holds those sauces so well between its ruffles. Preparations with big, stabbable chunks like cut up vegetables or shrimp are also great, because cascatelli is so hearty and forkable, so you can assemble great bites by stabbing the pasta along with those other chunky components. That’s why I’m thrilled that the chefs at Blue Apron came up with a preparation that is thick, creamy, and chunky—and full of spice and flavor too! It’s an ideal dish to highlight cascatelli’s sauceability, forkability, and toothsinkability.

For cascatelli and countless other delights delivered right to your door, order your next Blue Apron box now.

Pecorino Romano vs. Parmigiano-Reggiano

parmesan cheese
Simply beautiful

There’s a whole wide world of cheeses. Some are soft and mild, while others are extremely pungent. On the grand scale of Brie to Limburger, Pecorino and Parmesan can seem pretty similar. Both are hard salty cheeses from Italy, and they’re both frequently in the mix with pasta. However, they’re not the same cheese. Read on to learn the difference between Pecorino Romano and Parmesan. 

Pecorino Romano vs. Parmesan 

If you lay a slice of Pecorino Romano next to a slice of Parmesan, you’ll notice some differences right away. Pecorino is whiter and slightly softer. Parmesan is more golden, and very hard and dry. Now take a taste. Overall, Parmesan has a more nutty flavor. The super-aged Parmesans can even have a hint of caramel flavor. Pecorino will be brighter, with more grassy flavor and sharp saltiness. These differences are a result of different production methods. 

Parmesan

Parmesan is made from cow’s milk. It must be aged for at least 12 months. The aging process helps create the nutty, complex flavor that Parmesan is known for. This hard, crumbly cheese gets its name from the region in which it’s produced. True Parmigiano-Reggiano must be made in one of five provinces within Emilia-Romagna. 

Parmesan cheese can be thinly sliced and served as an appetizer, or grated over salads or pastas. Grated Parmesan can also be mixed into meatballs. Basically, no matter what you sprinkle it on, it will add a pop of savory saltiness. Pro tip: Buy a wedge of Parmesan to use at home. When it’s all gone, save the rind. You can drop the rinds into beans, soups, or stews as they simmer to add a cheesy flavor to the dish. 

parmesan cheese rinds
Save these!

Pecorino 

Pecorino, and it’s most famous family member, Pecorino Romano, is also a hard, salty cheese. At first glance, Pecorino may seem similar to Parmesan, but it’s far from identical. Pecorino Romano is made from sheep’s cheese, which gives it a more grassy and earthy flavor. Pecorino is also typically younger than Parmesan. The minimum aging requirement for Pecorino is only 5-8 months. This creates a slightly more moist, greener tasting cheese. 

pecorino romano cheese
Delicious crumbles

Pecorino Romano is the star of cacio e pepe, where the tangy character it gets from sheep’s cheese has an opportunity to shine. Pecorino also works well as a grating cheese, and will be delicious over pasta and salads. If you know you love Pecorino Romano, try looking for a few other varieties, like Pecorino Siciliano, which is often made with an incorporation of black peppercorns. 

Now that you know all about the difference between Pecorino and Parmesan, here are some recipes to get you cooking:

Recipes with Parmesan cheese

Stovetop Chicken Parmesan with Elicoidali Pasta

Stovetop Chicken Parmesan with Elicoidali Pasta

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli

Chile Butter Steaks with Parmesan Potatoes & Spinach

Chile Butter Steaks with Parmesan Potatoes & Spinach

Recipes with Pecorino Romano cheese

Summer Vegetable Gnocchi with Pecorino Romano Cheese

Summer Vegetable Gnocchi with Pecorino Romano Cheese

Zucchini Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella & Pecorino Cheese

Zucchini Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella & Pecorino Cheese

Za’atar-Roasted Broccoli Salad with Fregola Sarda, Pecorino Cheese & Tahini Dressing

Za'atar-Roasted Broccoli Salad with Fregola Sarda, Pecorino Cheese & Tahini Dressing