We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Lumache Pasta?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Lumache pasta is a pasta shape which is formed like a shell. It comes in a range of sizes, although classic lumache pasta is around the size of the first joint in the thumb. This pasta shape is incredibly versatile, and it is highly useful to keep around the house. It can be used in both sophisticated pasta dishes and simple meals which are designed to appeal to younger eaters. Most markets stock lumache pasta, which may also be labeled as “shell pasta,” “pipe rigate,” or “conchiglie pasta.”

In Italian, lumache means “snail,” and the classic form of this pasta does look rather like a snail shell. The shell shape makes this pasta bulky, so that it can support heavy or chunky sauces. Because the pasta is hollow, it also has a lot of surface area to hold lighter, more delicate sauces. You can find varieties which range in shape from basic crimped tubes to slightly rolled pasta to spiraled shells with two openings which look alarmingly like recently vacated snail shells.

Very small sizes of lumache pasta can be used in baked pasta dishes and soups, while intermediate ranges are great plated with sauces. Cooks can also find jumbo lumache which can be stuffed and baked. Stuffed lumache can be filled with ingredients like ricotta, mozzarella, tomato sauce, pesto, meats, and vegetables, and they make an interesting change from more traditional stuffed and baked pasta shapes like manicotti.

As is the case with other pastas, a variety of types of wheat can be used to make lumache pasta. If you can, purchase pasta made with durum wheat, which is an especially hard variety of wheat which cooks to al dente perfection. Even when slightly overcooked, a durum wheat pasta will retain a chewy, resilient mouthfeel, and it will hold its shape, rather than falling apart. You can also purchase flavored lumache varieties like tomato, pepper, and spinach.

Cooking times for this versatile pasta shape vary. As a general rule, boil pasta in a large pot in lightly salted water. Once the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and turn the water down so that it boils less violently. Stir the pasta to keep it from sticking, and taste it every few minutes to test for doneness. Once the pasta is done, drain it and run cold water over it to prevent it from sticking, or toss the pasta immediately with oil or the sauce you intend to use.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Sara007 — On Jun 10, 2011

If you are on a diet and looking to find great pasta, that gives you a lot of visual volume for fewer calories, the large shell pastas are a great choice. I find that lumache pasta, especially whole the whole wheat variety, swells considerably when cooked and while pasta isn't always a dieters best friend, it is easier to cut back when it still looks like you are getting a decent serving size.

A good tip is to use a very chunky vegetable sauce with your shell pasta. It will really fill the dish out, and add lots of healthy nutrients to your meal.

By manykitties2 — On Jun 07, 2011

Lumache pasta has always been my favorite because of the unique shape. I always though it was great to have such a decorative design available for your dishes.

In the summertime I like to use lumache pasta in my tuna salads. It goes with a seafood theme and tastes great.

I find it a bit difficult to cook this pasta correctly though, as sometime the shell is at different thicknesses throughout, with the outer edge usually being thicker then the middle.

Does anyone know how to get lumache pasta perfectly cooked? Once I get the edges cooked, it seems that the middle is always a bit squishy and overdone.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.