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Lumaconi: Everything About the Pasta Shape

Shell-shaped pastas have been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years. Their distinctive, unique shapes allow them to not only hold a lot of sauce but also hold their structure when baked. A great example of this is lumaconi pasta. Have you tried it? 

Lumaconi, also known as lumache, are shell pastas shaped like snails. Originating in the northwestern region of Piedmont in Italy, lumaconi is a popular pasta to use in baking and stuffing. They come in a variety of sizes and textures ranging from smooth to ridged. 

In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about lumaconi pasta and provide delicious dishes you can try yourself. Let’s get into it!

Lumaconi: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about lumaconi: 

Pasta Shape:Lumaconi
Pasta Type:Shell-shaped Pasta
Length:Varies
Width:Varies
Thickness:Varies
Origin:Piedmont, Italy
Meaning:Italian term for “snails”
Synonyms:Lumache
Similar Shapes:Conchiglie, orecchiette

Where Did Lumaconi Originate?

This unique snail-shaped pasta came from Piedmont, a region in Italy that borders France. The French’s love for snails translated over the border and resulted in this Italian classic. 

Lumaconi can come in a wide variety of sizes. The smaller ones tend to go in broths and soups while larger ones typically get stuffed and baked in an oven. 

What Does Lumaconi Mean?

The name “lumaconi” comes from the Italian word “lumaca” which means “snail.” The pasta itself is shaped after the snail’s shell, featuring a hollow, concave opening that tapers off at the bottom. This unique shape allows it to cling onto sauces, most especially chunky or creamy ones. 

What Is the Difference Between Lumaconi and Lumache?

Lumaconi and lumache are practically the same pasta. It features the same exact shape and texture, but it is often said that lumaconi refers to the larger version of the pasta while lumache is the smaller, bite-sized variety. 

Despite being almost identical, they are prepared in very different ways. Due to its size, the larger lumaconi is usually stuffed and baked while the smaller lumache is typically seen in brothy soups or in creamy sauces. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Lumaconi Pasta

Here are some traditional dishes you can make with lumaconi pasta:

Stuffed Lumaconi

This recipe calls for lumaconi shells stuffed with a creamy spinach and ricotta filling. The stuffed shells then go on a bed of chunky marinara sauce and are topped with mozzarella cheese before going in the oven until it gets nice and bubbly.  

Slow-Cooked Pork Ragu with Lumache

Is there a better way to feature lumaconi’s nooks and crannies than by letting it swim in a meaty ragu? This slow-cooked masterpiece is warm, savory, and incredibly delicious. 

These simple but delicious dishes are just a few ways you can enjoy lumaconi pasta.  

Final Thoughts 

Lumaconi pasta is a unique and versatile pasta shape that is sure to be the star of any pasta dish. Their versatility allows them to pair well with almost any sauce and be cooked in almost any way. If you see a box of these on your next grocery trip, be sure to try it out!

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