Food52 Winter Games Kick Off with Triple-Loop Noodles

February  9, 2018

Everyone talks about athletes carbo-loading before competition, but what if the carbs were the competition? Say, instead of two people curling, two pasta shapes dueling to see who’s the curliest? Yes, please. Can we judge?

Triple-Loop Noodles is the first in our series of Olympics-inspired food face-offs. Up next will be something cheesy, then something sweet—you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more! But for now, grab your scorecard and get to know these fierce competitors:

Fusilli with Kale-Cashew Pesto

So many loops! How will the judges keep track?! Photo by Julia Gartland

Don’t underestimate this petite, wound-up pasta. Expect to see not just three, but seven loops on game day. All those nooks and crannies are just right for capturing sauce. In this case, that’s a bright green pesto. Since it’s the winter (rather than summer) Olympics, we opted for Tuscan kale instead of basil. And instead of pine nuts, roasted cashews carry this torch. Add in some grated Parm, minced garlic, and lots of olive oil, and you have a perfect 10.

Cavatappi with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Brie, and Arugula

The cavatappi lands its loops with such grace! And with a big smile, just look at it go! Photo by Julia Gartland

Another shorty. Cavatappi is a corkscrew, usually ridged. It lands less loops than its competitor—usually two to three. But just wait for its special move: It’s hollow. Like a straw for your pasta sauce. Or for melty Brie! (The crowd goes wild!) Will it clinch the gold medal? Only time will tell. The recipe is a riff on Food52 co-founder Merrill Stubbs’s summertime hit from 2012—it’s been liked 1,212 times (and counting!) since then. We swapped in oily, plump sun-dried tomatoes and peppery arugula.

Which recipe wins the gold? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Dot Williams
    Dot Williams
  • Niknud
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Dot W. February 21, 2018
Cavatappi for me as well and yes please, give me the anchovies and pancetta as well!
Niknud February 9, 2018
Not even close - cavatappi with cheeeeese! Do I get bonus points if I throw in some anchovies or (and!) pancetta?
Emma L. February 9, 2018
All the bonus points!