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The Geometry of Pasta
October 1, 2010 12:30 PM   Subscribe

The Geometry of Pasta. If you click on a shape, on most of them, it tells you a bit of history and recipe suggestions. l Pasta shape names l Recipes l Farfalle (butterflies/bow-ties) with Prosciutto and cream animation. The geography of pasta l The origins of pasta. Glossary. More pasta shapes.

Bonus links: Roman Pasta Dishes and 10 Places to Eat them in Rome l Italian Regional Cuisines
posted by nickyskye (29 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite

 
This sort of thing is why the internet exists.

national defense? who cares!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:33 PM on October 1, 2010


Fantastico! Aaaaand now I'm hungry.
posted by pyrex at 12:36 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Physics of Pasta. Made famous by Feynman.
posted by exogenous at 12:37 PM on October 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Awesome. I've been in a cooking slump, mostly because my son won't eat any starch but wheat, so it's been pasta, pasta, pasta for about 5 years. This will help refresh my pasta offerings. Thanks!
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:39 PM on October 1, 2010


Lovely, but does not contain Marille, the 1983 pasta equivalent of the Ford Edsel.
posted by imperium at 12:39 PM on October 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Lovely, but does not contain Marille, the 1983 pasta equivalent of the Ford Edsel.

Hats off to that article for introducing the phrase "skunkwork division of Barilla" to the lexicon.
posted by theodolite at 12:42 PM on October 1, 2010


This is a fossil identification guide, isn't it.
posted by clarknova at 12:43 PM on October 1, 2010


Strozzapretti MEANS strangled priests...
posted by Pecinpah at 12:43 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was just discussing pasta shapes with someone the other day. They were at a loss to explain why they liked farfalle better than fettucini even though they are made from the same ingredients. I posited that it was because the farfalle hit a wider surface area of their tongue, activating more taste buds. I have no idea if that was a proper accounting for taste, but it sounded good.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:53 PM on October 1, 2010


A delectable post, but incomplete without a shout-out to the BBC's classic report on the intrepid spaghetti farmers of Switzerland.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:58 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoa, this is perfect. I've been staring at bucatini in the stores trying to figure out what I'd even use it for to do it justice AND I've been wanting to buy rabbit at the greenmarket.
posted by kkokkodalk at 1:01 PM on October 1, 2010


And we shouldn't forget orecchiette, which are designed to act like little bowls for sauce...
posted by Tarumba at 1:02 PM on October 1, 2010


need a carb jolt = PASTA is the answer!
posted by tustinrick at 1:05 PM on October 1, 2010


Bucatini! So that's what it's called! I remember having it at a restaurant like 10 years ago and something about the unusual shape or the texture made it stick in my brain, and now I must begin the search.

Also, from the "Shop" page - I just found this.. I dunno, superfluous?

"Plans are underway to launch a series of products inspired by The Geometry of Pasta featuring the distinctive graphic style used in the book, from an iphone app to kitchenwares and a range of pastas and sauces."
posted by pyrex at 1:09 PM on October 1, 2010


This is what you want to make with bucatini. I make it with a bit more pancetta and not quite as much red pepper. Even better the next day.
posted by sugarfish at 1:15 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Really fun site and it will make a nice phone app, but a truly comprehensive catalog of pasta shapes is the Encyclopedia of Pasta by Oretta Zanini De Vita, published last year by UC Press.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 2:10 PM on October 1, 2010


A big shout-out to Bocca Di Lupo, the lovely London restaurant of one of the authors of the book.
posted by GeorgeBickham at 2:33 PM on October 1, 2010


As heard on NPR yesterday
posted by lalochezia at 3:17 PM on October 1, 2010


This is great!
posted by small_ruminant at 3:50 PM on October 1, 2010


Roman Pasta Dishes and 10 Places to Eat them in Rome

May I suggest you consider these instead: "I 5 piatti di pasta migliori di Roma", and "5 carbonare 5, a Roma e dintorni"?
posted by progosk at 4:02 PM on October 1, 2010


This is a great post!

/the farfalle in ersatz's stomach
posted by ersatz at 5:59 PM on October 1, 2010


When I was an undergraduate back at the school that calls itself A Technological University, I knew some mechanical engineering students who told me that:

a) the number on a box of pasta ("Spaghetti #2") referred to the die number of the die used to extrude the dough;
b) somewhere there was a "Pasta Institute" (or some such association) that keep a central registry of these die numbers; and
c) this "Pasta Institute" had a standing offer of a cash reward for a new (practical) die shape.

Imagine my delight when I heard the NPR story on this new book: The Geometry of Pasta! At last! - my curiosity would be satisfied!

Now imagine my disappointment when I ran out and tracked down a copy - and found there was no actual information in it about, you know - the geometry of pasta.

This seems like a likely crowd to ask: Does anybody happen to know where (on-line) the master list of pasta shapes might be found?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:49 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Recipes? You need to read my mate Gio's cappelletti recipe.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:34 PM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Also, it.wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive article-in-the-making on pasta shapes; and Archimedes' Lab's two-page overview is good too.)
posted by progosk at 5:41 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah man, now I want to make a custom corzetti die.
posted by Mitheral at 3:05 PM on October 2, 2010


Does anybody happen to know where (on-line) the master list of pasta shapes might be found?

AsYouKnow Bob, your curiosity about this prompted a couple of minutes Googling. Where the die is cast. This might be a beginning: pasta extruder dies. For example here are the die numbers for spaghetti, linguine and tagliatelle. Barilla's site.
posted by nickyskye at 3:41 AM on October 3, 2010


What a neat post! I really enjoyed the geometry page and saw a lot of kinds there I'd never heard of before, like corzetti. The pasta selections at local grocery stores now seem wanting.

The pappardelle reminded me of the best meal I've ever had, at Trattoria del Corso in RI.
posted by heatvision at 7:07 AM on October 3, 2010


nickyskye: one of Maldari's Italian die-making rivals have charts and a catalog online.
posted by progosk at 2:12 PM on October 3, 2010


nickyskye, progorsk: The bottom of the emiliomiti page has links to charts of various "recognition silhouettes",
Pasta Size Charts:


Long Pasta Shapes
Straight Macaroni
Elbow Macaroni
Penne Macaroni
Shells & Gnocchi
Fusilli
Short Pasta Shapes
Pastine
Country Shapes
Custom Shapes 1
Custom Shapes 2
Custom Shapes 3
which seem to give standard die numbers. It's not clear if those are industry-wide die numbers, but that's certainly a start on answering my questions. Thanks.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:19 PM on October 3, 2010


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