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This Italian pasta resembles conch shells. It is often served with tomato or meat sauces, or in pasta salads. Conchiglie pasta is a shell like Italian pasta which comes in a range of sizes, from tiny shells for soups to jumbo shells which can be stuffed and baked. This simple and very versatile pasta shape is very popular in many parts of the world for a wide range of dishes.
Typically, conchiglie pasta is wide in the middle, tapering down to narrow sides. When the shell side of the pasta is flipped, it reveals an opening which runs along the length of the pasta. Because the pasta is hollow and ridged, it is suitable for a wide range of sauces. The sturdy shape will hold up well under chunky meat and vegetable sauces, while the hollow parts of the shells can act to trap thinner sauces.
The pasta is also flavorful plain, with a light sprinkling of olive oil and fresh herbs. In addition to being served with sauce, conchiglie pasta can be baked in casseroles, used as a carrier for macaroni and cheese, added to pasta salad, and included in soups. Pasta made with whole wheat instead of refined flour makes it darker but more nutritious. It is high in complex carbohydrates, which provide a "time release" of energy rather than a quick boost.