This pasta shape comes in 3 sizes. Conchigliette are the smallest and traditionally used in soups. Conchiglie are the middle sized version and are very good with thick sauces, but can also be baked. Finally, conchiglioni are the jumbo shells and are excellent stuffed and baked.
Commonly called ‘shells’ or ‘sea shells’ because of their shape, conchiglie are a type of pasta which look like conch shells. In fact, the word ‘conchiglia’ in Italian means sea shell. They are usually sold dried and are made using hard, semolina wheat flour. The hard wheat flour helps hold the shape of this pasta as it is often boiled, stuffed and baked.
Here at Pasta Nostra USA, we produce the plain conchiglie as well as a tri-colour variety made using only natural ingredients like spinach, kale and tomato, beetroot and carbonized vegetable powder.
Our conchiglioni are available from us at Rockledge Gardens market. Stop by and see what other magical pasta we create.
Conchiglie aren’t not an ancient pasta and so do not have a history making them particular to an Italian region. The are very popular in southern Italy and were most probably developed in the Naples area of Gragnano where many specialty pastas continue to be invented.
Conchiglie are often served with fish based sauces, although plenty of meat and vegetable recipes exist for you to choose from. Ridged on the outside, conchiglie hold sauce very well. Smooth on the inside, the medium to large pasta shells are popular served stuffed and baked. The smaller conchigliette are used mostly for soups or salads.