Conchiglie pronounced as “con-keel-yay” and also known as “seashells” or “shells”, is medium sized conch shaped pasta from Italy. There are many sizes of this pasta that are used for various culinary purposes. While, the small sized ones are ideal for soups, the jumbo sized ones are either baked or stuffed. This shell-shaped pasta holds sauces well and the ideal sauce bases of this pasta include meat sauces and tomato sauces. They are also served in pasta salads. The traditional variety is made with durum wheat; however, other flavors such as tomato, spinach and squid ink extracts are also popular. Though this pasta is from Italy, it is more popular in the UK, where it is used in many preparations. A few popular recipes of this pasta include Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas & Chili, Conchiglie con Langostinos un Pomodori Secchi Salsa di Mornay, Conchiglie al Forno with Mushrooms & Radicchio and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Conchiglie with Saffron, Capers & Raisins.
Conchiglie originates in Italy, where the name is derived from “conchiglia”, an Italian word that means seashell. In fact, this word is similar in meaning with the English “conch”, which has been derived from “konkhe”, the Greek word for shell.
Conchiglie pairs well with various ingredients such as –
Conchiglie can be replaced in various preparations with other types of similar pasta such as fusilli, farfalle, gemelli, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, ziti, lumache, cavatelli, rigatoni, radiator or ruote.
The larger sized Conchiglioni can be substituted with manicotti, lumaconi, and cannelloni.
Popular Conchiglie Recipes
There are many scrumptious preparations of Conchiglie pasta. Detailed here are a couple of recipes –
Note: In case fresh sage is not available, other fresh herbs such as thyme, tarragon, fennel or rosemary can be used. However, it is not advisable to use dried herbs, as they will not impart the same flavor to the dish.
Hard wheat such as durum wheat are ideal for making Conchiglie, as they are firm even after cooking and tend to hold the sauces and stuffing better.