Pasta Encyclopedia: Conchiglie Rigate – Medium Shells

Conchiglie Rigate – Medium Shells

med shellConchiglie Rigate, or medium shells as it is known here in the U.S., owes its name to its characteristic shell shape (conchiglia in Italian). The “rigate” part of the name refers to the ridges, as shells can also be made lisce or smooth. The cupped interior holds sauces beautifully, and the ridges trap pestos nicely. Here in the U.S., the smaller sized shells are popular as a mac and cheese vehicle, both in restaurants and in boxed pasta kits at retail. Since seashells are the inspiration, it’s not uncommon to see shells paired with seafood as well.