Shell Pasta – One of Italy’s most popular pasta shapes, inspired by the sea

February 19, 2021

Did you know that Italy is home to hundreds of different pasta types? One of the most popular shapes of pasta resembles tiny seashells.

Shell pasta is also known as conchiglie (pronounced con-KEEL-yay), the Italian word for seashells. Like the English word “conch,” the Italian word conchiglie is derived from koŋˈkiʎʎe, the Greek word for “shells” or “seashells”.  There is also a miniature type of shell pasta, known as conchigliette, meaning “little shells.”

Colourful Shell Pasta

Most commonly made with plain durum wheat, colored varieties of shell pasta include natural pigments of spinach or tomato extract. Another type of traditional shell pasta, conchiglie al nero di seppia, is tinted by using squid ink.

This pasta’s appealing shape also contributes to its tastiness in pasta dishes. The ridges of the shell shape enable sauce to adhere easily to the outside, while the shell’s smooth inside fills up with sauce as the pasta is stirred – doubling the flavour in every bite! 

Can’t get enough of pasta? We offer a number of dishes through Let’s Cook with a variety of pasta types. From Spaghetti to Zucchini Noodles to even Shell! Order today at

Written by Cathy, Let’s Cook Content Manager

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