Everyone wants to grab a fast food meal now and then, and there are certainly plenty of options for those moments. But, have you ever wondered why pasta is rarely an option when it comes to fast food? Many people love fast food, and plenty of people surely love pasta, so why do the two so rarely overlap? Sure –– there are a few fast food pasta chains out there like Noodles & Company or Fazoli's that boast offering Italian food at a moment's notice. By the same token, there are some go-to pizza chains that have gotten into the pasta game, themselves, like Domino's and Pizza Hut. Still, while there may be an option or two for grabbing pasta on the go depending on where you're located, there certainly aren't many to choose from. While pasta may be a classic comfort food, it hasn't worked its way into the fast food space the way other comfort foods have.
There's more than one reason why fast food pasta hasn't made it big like fast food burgers or burritos: For one thing, cooking pasta isn't as conducive to speed and making mass quantities at once as a burger might be. There may be ways to make pasta more quickly, but it can't be done with quite the ease of throwing a few burgers on the grill. Also, people don't think of pasta as fast food, and this can actually make selling it difficult.
Why Pasta And Fast Food Don't Mix
Changing opinions about how and when a popular food should be consumed can be difficult. Consequently, as appreciation for fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle or Shake Shack has grown, pasta has remained an outsider. Food writer and director of Food Studies Initiatives at the New School, Fabio Parasecoli, explained to Eater, "There is the sense that Italian restaurants come out of family. That there are people cooking for you. It's somewhat of a personal experience." He adds that eating family-style in an Italian restaurant is "part of the fun, the fact that you get a huge portion of pasta to be shared at the table." While this may seem like it would be easy enough for folks to be open-minded about, it seems that it isn't so easy, after all. Pasta Flyer, a restaurant aiming to spearhead pasta's big foray into fast casual dining, closed in 2018 just a year after opening.
The price of making pasta that's actually good isn't ideal for fast food, either. While pasta itself is cheap, according to restaurant owner, Rick Gencarelli, "as soon as you put Parmesan cheese and a little bit of braised pork and some good tomatoes and olive oil and some sea salt, all of a sudden you're not at the fast-casual price point anymore" (via Eater). Plenty of restaurant owners hope to give us access to fast food pasta, so here's hoping that they'll succeed. Who wouldn't want more ways to eat pasta, anyway?
Read the original article on Mashed.