WHAT IS LUMACHE?
Another shell shaped pasta, lumache is actually named after a snail. Many Italian chefs looked outside their kitchen window for pasta inspiration, basing their forms on the plants, animals and apparently snails around them. This cut has a cool shape with a pinched end which helps trap sauce in the main part of the shell. It comes in sizes ranging from tiny snails to the Brazilian rain-forest man-eating monster jumbo lumache size. This pasta has a slightly different shape but is similar to the conchiglie family of cuts.
WHERE IS LUMACHE MADE?
Originally they are from the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. Bordering France, the love of snails is a francophone influence, or people starving in that area weren’t picky back in the day. The Cherasco snail festival takes place here every year. Intrepid hunters of these shelled gastropods will also collect wild mushrooms and truffles along the way. Though truffles only give off a detectable odor a few times a day and are below ground. So unless you have a dog or pig with you at the right time, good luck.
I PREFER TO EAT MY CANNIBALISTIC HERMAPHRODITES WITH GARLIC AND BUTTER?
Snails are a type of mollusc that will eat other, smaller snails as well as their eggs. Some species can self-fertilize so they spend half as much on dinner dates and get to watch whatever they want at the movies. These creatures are not vegetarians. In ancient Rome some gourmets would feed their pet snails a diet of wine and meat, before turning them into escargot.
WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH LUMACHE?
This cut is idea for a thick ragu. Other sauces will focus more on extra virgin olive oil with spices like chili pepper and garlic to infuse the oil along with some actual whelks (sea snails). A nice glass of Barolo wine, some thin slices of Alba truffles, and a bit of aged Castelmagno cheese shaved over your pasta dish. If you’d like to see one of our recipes using lumache check out our marinara sauce recipe!