What is Lumache?
Lumache (whose literal translation means ‘snail’) is a shell-shaped pasta which is perfect for trapping in a nice portion of chunky sauce. It is also referred to as ‘lumaconi’ and is a delightful pasta that can be covered in cheese, red sauce, stuffed with a variety of ingredients, or enjoyed minimally with only a few ingredients. Thanks to its versatility, there are hundreds of great recipes out there, but these are our 7 favorite lumache / lumaconi dishes.
1. Debi’s Yellow Tomato Lumaconi
This simple dish makes a fantastic quick dinner but can also be served in smaller portions as an appetizer or side for a larger meal. It is light but flavorful, and the minimal nature of the dish allows the lumaconi to stand out as the star of the show with its satisfying texture.
The fresh yellow cherry tomatoes provide a nice pop of acidity, and the parmesan cheese gives you a satisfying, savory flavor. The red pepper flakes, pungent garlic and sweet peas round out the flavor profile, giving you all the contrast you need in a pasta dish. With a splash of white wine to cut down the richness, you truly have a gourmet-quality meal that can be put together and served in less than 30 minutes.
Get the full recipe and directions from Cooking Channel TV
2. Tomato and Basil Lumache
Who doesn’t love the combination of tomato and basil? The aromatic herb always pairs well with the acidic vegetable, providing complexity that requires very little effort. In this tomato and basil lumache, small tomatoes such as cherry or grape varieties are used to provide a pop of sweetness that can be enjoyed more consistently throughout the year than their full-sized counterparts.
The thinly sliced garlic is fragrant but not overpowering, and the Spanish onion adds another touch of sweetness to pair with the tomato. The addition of cream and parmesan brings this dish together to make it a satisfying meal that won’t sit too heavily.
Get the full recipe and directions from Gourmet Traveller
3. Five Cheese Stuffed Lumaconi
If you’re looking for the comforting, traditional red sauce dish that pasta has often become associated with, look no further than this five-cheese stuffed lumaconi. These larger shells have plenty of space to stuff with a wonderful cheese mixture, and their ridges absorb the rich, savory tomato sauce with ease.
This certainly isn’t a light meal, but sometimes you just want to indulge in a beautiful, rich pasta dish like this one. Cheese lovers will be in heaven with the combination of ricotta, mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and cream cheese making up the mixture for this pasta. Stuffed pastas can be time consuming, but this one is ready to go in about an hour flat, so it can still work as an easy weeknight meal (although you might want to save this as a weekend treat).
Get the full recipe and directions from Heather Likes Food
4. Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells
Another stuffed shell recipe, these larger lumache shells may be more reminiscent of the stuffed shells you grew up eating as a child. Button mushrooms and spinach provide an earthy, meaty flavor for the stuffing, and they are brightened up with ground thyme to add complexity. A salty and delicious mixture of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese are added to the spinach/mushroom mix, making a delicious stuffing for these giant shells.
The recipe simply calls for a jar of pasta sauce, but you don’t have to use a red sauce to enjoy this dish – Alfredo or pesto sauces are also excellent choices. No matter what you choose, you’ll be adding even more cheese as you bake the shells in the sauce until they are perfectly tender. This is a relatively easy recipe to put together, and it reheats nicely if you’re able to prevent yourself from eating it all in one sitting!
Get the full recipe and directions from All Recipes
5. Taco Stuffed Lumaconi
This taco-stuffed lumaconi strays from traditional Italian cooking, fusing it with Mexican flavors to make for a unique and fun stuffed shell recipe. If you want the flavor of tacos but are looking to add even more carbs to your Taco Tuesday, this is the way to go!
Ground beef is combined with taco seasoning and diced tomatoes to make a meaty and flavorful taco filling that is stuffed into the shells before baking in a tomato and cheese mixture. The combination of beefy flavor, cheesy sauce, and tender pasta is truly an exquisite tasting experience. This dish might cause the purists to have a panic attack, but it is perfect for those who simply want a satisfying, delicious dish that doesn’t require too much work.
Get the full recipe and directions from Food.com
6. Chicken Pistachio Lumaconi
Pistachios are an underutilized ingredient in pasta dishes, but they have plenty to offer. The sweet, nutty goodness works fantastically with the meaty chicken and the zippy, garlicky, tomato basil sauce. Plus, there’s zucchini in this one, so you can claim that it’s healthy!
With mozzarella, parmesan, and cream cheese, you’ll be getting your fair share of gooey saltiness, and Italian seasoning really helps the flavors come together. Although the chicken is not too heavy, this is a very satisfying pasta dish that should act as the main course. It would go well with a nice side salad or medley of steamed or grilled vegetables, but the shells will definitely be the star of the show.
Get the full recipe and directions from Chicken.ca
7. Lumaca Rigata Pasta
Blue Apron is known for delivering high-quality boxes of food to customers who want to hone their own cooking skills. This Lumaca Rigata dish is no exception and may be one of their best offerings. It is a light but savory meal that could act as a side dish to a more indulgent meat entrée. Either way, it is sure to please your senses with the briny capers providing the perfect contrast to the creamy, tomato-based sauce.
The rest is pretty simple but effective – kale, garlic, and Italian seasoning are used in the recipe, and that’s it. Blue Apron also gives a recipe for garlic bread to go along, and it certainly gives you some tasty to dip in the extra sauce, but it isn’t entirely necessary. Clocking in at under a half hour to make, this is an easy and tasty dish that won’t break the bank, whether you purchase the ingredients separately or procure them through Blue Apron.
Get the full recipe and directions from Blue Apron
What did you think of the list of our favorite lumache recipes? Are there any that we should add?
If you liked these recipes, we recommend checking out our post reviewing Alison Roman’s Baked Ziti recipe