Structure is key. One of the downsides of freshly extruded pasta is the structural integrity of the hollow shapes is less firm than that of dried pasta. Increasing the thickness of the pasta wall gives it more strength. It is a small adjustment that we didn't think of. Thankfully Marc Vetri did. He asked Maja, from Arcobaleno, if thicker walled pasta dies could be made. Maja worked with her "die guy" and a few thick walled shapes have arrived. We were fortunate to get one to test drive and were able to see and taste the difference. The thicker wall allows the rigatoni and its close cousin, hand cut penne, to stand up to being coated in sauce without collapsing and losing its shape. The texture on the noodles is fabulous. There is bite and chew. The sauce works its way into the hole filling the pasta, glazing it inside and out. Asking the right questions can make innovation possible.
April 10, 2006