Due to the simple blend of ingredients and high nutritional value, it’s no wonder that pasta is one of the most popular foods in the world.
Although they are thousands of years old, the age-old question remains: What pasta shape is best for storing sauce?
To mark World Pasta Day, MailOnline turned to online AI tool ChatGPT for the answer and came up with some controversial results.
At the top of the list was cascatelli, a relatively new pasta from America with a curved shape and distinctive ruffles that was deliberately designed to carry sauce.
Also in the top six were spaghetti, penne and the “bow tie” pasta farfalle – but one expert claims a lot also depends on the type of sauce.
According to ChatGPT, Cascatelli, a relatively new invention from the US, is the best pasta for storing sauce
“Creamy sauces usually suit a wider, flatter shape better,” said Dr. Emma Beckett, a food and nutrition scientist at the University of Newcastle in Australia, told MailOnline.
“The thinner oil-based sauces usually go with the longer, thinner noodles or with the twisted noodles so the thin sauce sticks.”
“Hollow seeds are suitable for soups, thin sauces or baked dishes, but the larger ones also go well with chunkier, heartier sauces.”
“Some people are very strict about which pasta goes with which sauce, but it’s okay to experiment to find your favorite.”
Cascatelle roughly means “small waterfalls” in Italian and one look at the bizarre shape reveals why.
The unique design consists of a flat but curved strip with ruffles on either side, creating what is described as a “gravy trough” with barriers.
But this isn’t an Italian creation; Cascatelli was invented in 2021 by US food podcaster Dan Pashman with the express aim of making the sauce stick better.
He worked with US pasta company Sfoglini to produce the product, which is available mainly online in the UK and is harder to find in supermarkets.
Cascatelle (pictured) was invented in 2021 by US podcast host Dan Pashman (pictured). The name can be roughly translated from Italian as “small waterfalls”.
Cascatelle (pictured) was invented in 2021 by an American podcast host. The name can be roughly translated from Italian as “small waterfalls”.
Surprisingly, spaghetti took second place on ChatGPT’s list, despite its slim shape and notable lack of columns
“My goal was to create a truly great shape that would stand the test of time and that could be mass-produced and sold,” Mr. Pashman told Inverse.
According to Pashman, Cascatelli also has excellent “forkability” (that is, it is easy to put on the fork and hold there) and “toothsinkability” (it is fun to bite into).
Surprisingly, spaghetti took second place on ChatGPT’s list, despite its slim shape and notable lack of columns.
The chatbot said the long strands were “perfect for wrapping around and holding on to sauce” and the shape “creates an excellent surface for the sauce to stick to.”
Next up was fettuccine, which means “little ribbons” in Italian and is the same length as spaghetti but has a wider and flatter surface.
Fettuccine also has a rough texture that ensures the sauce sticks to the pasta and prevents it from slipping, and a thickness that allows it to absorb a lot of moisture.
A British favorite, penne, came in fourth, followed by rigatoni – both are cylindrical, providing a small well to store the sauce in.
Fettuccine (pictured) is the name given to the flat, thick noodles that are generally the same length as spaghetti. The name means “little ribbons” in Italian.
Farfalle or bowtie pasta has a unique design that “accommodates lighter sauces” and is often used in pasta salads
Penne and rigatoni are both cylindrical and therefore provide a small cavity to store the sauce in
They also have small grooves on the outside that serve as a platform for small chunks and increase the surface area for sauce absorption.
Last on the list was farfalle in the shape of bows or butterfly wings, which ChatGPT said has a unique design that “absorbs lighter sauces and is often used in pasta salads.”
Also receiving a special mention was Orecchiette, which means “little ears” in Italian, a concave pasta that lends itself well to making thicker, chunkier sauces.
While pasta is commonly believed to have originated in Italy, many claim that it actually comes from China, although there are many Italians who dispute this.
According to legend, the Venetian merchant Marco Polo brought it back to Italy after visiting the Asian country in the 13th century.
Archaeologists have also found evidence that Central Asia has been eating noodles for thousands of years.
You may be cooking pasta WRONG! Scientists warn that adding salt at the wrong time can pose a threat to your health – but here are 4 ways to protect yourself
The Italian word for pasta without salt – “sciocca” – also means “silly” because the ingredient enhances the flavor of the finished dish.
However, according to research, adding salt at the wrong time can be harmful to your health.
Scientists at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, analyzed chemicals in tap water and found small amounts of disinfectants that, when combined with salt, create harmful byproducts.
These substances, known as iodinated disinfection byproducts (DBPs), can lead to cancer, liver damage and reduced nervous system activity.
The team has shared four simple ways to reduce or avoid these unwanted compounds in your pasta dish.