Named because of the pasta’s resemblance to a snail’s shell, Lumache is a small, shell-shaped pasta made from buckwheat and corn flours (gluten free!). Buckwheat is an amazingly healthy and versatile Italian grain which was grown as a cover crop in northern Italy. Its earthy richness and slight sweetness make it a favorite for traditional northern Italian dishes, but it is versatile enough to enjoy in soups and baked dishes as well. Traditionally prepared with cabbage, garlic, butter and cheese in pizzoccheri al forno, or Parmesan Reggiano, brown butter, and prosciutto, or with toasted walnuts, sautéed shallots, and wilted kale.
Here’s a tasty recipe to get you started!
Lumache (Pasta) with Artichokes
1 Large onion; coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1 T dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 T chopped fresh parsley
3 T freshly grated Pecorino cheese (we sell it in-store!)
1/4 tsp salt
14 oz. jarred artichokes; reserve juice
Heat oil in a large pot and saute onion, garlic, basil, parsley, cayenne (or controne), and oregano for 5 minutes. Roughly chop tomatoes and add to the pot with the salt. Simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until reduced and very thick. Add reserved tomato and artichoke juice, stir through and simmer a further 15 minutes. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Cut each artichoke heart into six and stir into the sauce along with the Pecorino. (Parmesan may be substituted) Drain cooked pasta and add to sauce. Stir well, transfer to warm dishes and serve, passing around extra cheese.