Okay listen, it’s time to get honest. I’ve been a devoted member of the pasta fandom for a long time. I’m a charter member of the Spaghetti-Consumers Guild. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you: I’m a noodle enthusiast.
But for the past few weeks, my doctor has asked me to stop eating gluten. It’s been hell… but it’s given me some perspective. I’ve gotten a glimpse of life outside the insular world of pasta consumption. My comforting blanket of lasagna has been torn away from me, exposing me to the scathing winds of reality. I’ve been forced to confront some hard truths about how problematic certain varieties of pasta are.
It’s not that they’re bad pastas. It’s not that they’re cruel or exploitative! But friends, they’re inexcusably vainglorious. They’re self-satisfied, egotistical, and just plain stuck-up. I say enough! There needs to be a reckoning. It’s time to call the arrogant pastas of the world to account:
10 - Cappelli da Chef.
Capelli da Chef is a ruffly tube with a cuff on one end, intended to look like a chef’s hat. This pasta is your dad’s friend who just discovered marinades and insists on calling himself a “foodie.” This is your neighbor who successfully housetrained his puppy and keeps offering to train your dogs for you, if you can’t keep them in line. This is the old lady who comes to your house and says “oh, I’m so glad you didn’t feel a need to clean up on my account!” This pasta is passive-aggressive and judgmental and it thinks it’s slick, but it’s not. We know you’re not a hat, Capelli da Chef.
9 - Fiori.
Fiori is never overtly sexually aggressive but it gives off a deeply unwholesome vibe at parties. It keeps asking if you and your girlfriend want to come over for “happy hour” sometime, as if “happy hour” is something that you invite people over for. Just say cocktails if you mean cocktails, Fiori! And quit touching everyone’s elbows when you talk to them!! Whatever pickup-artist shit you’re trying to pull isn’t working.
8 - Mafalde.
Mafalde is what happens when Lasagna noodles go on a raw vegan whole-10 diet and won’t stop talking about it. Mafalde goes on and on about how it feels leaner and lighter when it doesn’t eat processed foods. “I love how you don’t mind taking risks with your splenetic balances,” Mafalde says as you eat a bite of a grilled-cheese sandwich. All you want is to enjoy brunch! But instead you have to sit there and listen as Mafalde relays the latest advice on glycemic confusion they picked up from their favorite Pure Foods blogger.
7 - Penne Lisce (aka Smoothatoni).
This is like Penne Rigate, except that it’s perfectly smooth on the outside. It repels sauces. Penne Lisce just got work done and refuses to acknowledge that it got work done, but it’s dying to be asked. It keeps posing near bright lights, hoping you’ll see that it’s got a brand-new Instagram Face, hoping you’ll say “did you get something done?” so it can answer “oh, no, it’s just this new toner I’m using.” We get it, Penne Lisce, your new boyfriend owns a boat! Calm down about it!!
6 - Orzo.
Picture this: The year is 2007 and suddenly you’re the hot new salad ingredient. Everyone is trying to make you into a fast-casual bistro snack. Whole foods is packaging you as a grab-and-go deli-style lunch. Pesto’s people keep calling your people to try to set up a meeting. How do you react?
IS IT BY REFUSING TO STAY ON A FORK???
Go on a retreat, Orzo! Get back to your roots! Discover an ounce of humility!!
5 - Bucatini.
I’m sorry, I want to respect the validity of pastas even as I call them out — no, call them in, because healing is possible once we understand the harm we’ve caused! But, Bucatini, are you fucking kidding me? The sheer brass neck of looking at spaghetti, putting a hole in the middle of it, and saying I’M A WHOLE NEW NOODLE and I get ALL THE FUN SYLLABLES in MY name. Bucatini calls itself an “entrepreneur” but the truth is that it’s $4,000 bought-in on a multilevel marketing scheme that’s trying to sell videophones to pageant moms.
4 - Gnocchi.
Listen, I’m friends with Gnocchi. I love hanging out with Gnocchi. But sometimes we have to tell our friends that they’re fucking up, and now is that time.
Gnocchi, we’ve known each other for a while, and I have to get something off my chest: Everyone gets that you’re made of potato, which is different from most pasta. Everyone understands that. But you have to stop bringing it up. #MadeOfTaters isn’t a hashtag, it’s a hashbrag. Your elitism is alienating people. JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE MADE OF POTATOES DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE BETTER THAN ME.
3 - Angel Hair.
Where do I even begin? The very existence of Angel Hair pasta is an implied criticism of spaghetti. It’s as if someone looked at spaghetti noodles and said “no: too robust.” Angel Hair pasta thinks it’s a refined pasta, an aristocratic pasta, when really, it’s just tiny. Defenders of Angel Hair will insist on bringing up how rapidly it cooks, which has the same energy as people who brag about how little sleep they can survive on, or how they never feel cold because the place they’re from has real winter.
Take a nap, put on a sweater, and eat a noodle with stronger moral fiber than this one.
…Also, calling yourself “Angel Hair” definitely implies that all angels are blonde, which: racist.
2 - Orecchiette.
Here is another friend of mine. I really love Orecchiette! Perfect receptacle for sauces and peas and tiny bits of meat.
But listen up, pal. You need to cool it with the name. I appreciate that you’re not trying to say you look like a hat, even though you kind of do (lookin’ at you, Capelli da Chef). But bringing up the fact that you kind of look like ears? It has to stop. You’re making people uncomfortable. I know that you think you’re subtly bragging and maybe even being a little clever, but you’re actually just forcing people to think about ears while they eat dinner. Cool it!!
1 - Fettuccine.
Oh, here he is. Mr. Big Shot, Mr. I’m flat, Mr. I splatter sauce everywhere. Fettuccine thinks it’s too good to ever really seem cooked properly, just because it’s got a deluxe cream-sauce boyfriend that everybody loves. Well, enough’s enough! For too long, Fettuccine has been riding around with the windows down blasting “The Boys Are Back In Town” at full volume, taking up two parking spaces at a time!! Fettuccine needs to take some time out of the public eye, reflect on how its actions effect others, and come back with some goddamned perspective.
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