Sea shell pasta, often referred to as shell pasta, gets its name from its distinct, curled shape that resembles a conch shell. Sea shell pasta is thick and commonly used in sauce-based dishes. The shell-shape allows sauce to collect in the pasta. Rather than purchasing it, you can make sea shell pasta from scratch with four everyday ingredients in approximately 25 minutes. After making the pasta, allow for at least 12 hours of drying time before cooking it. Cook the homemade variety the same way you would prepare commercially purchased sea shell pasta.
Blend the salt and 1 cup of flour in a medium bowl. Use your fingers to make a small well in the center of the flour mixture.
Pour the beaten egg and cool water into the well in the center of the flour mixture. Use your hands to knead the egg and water into the flour mixture until it forms a stiff dough.
Spread the remaining flour onto a flat working surface and turn the stiff dough from the bowl out onto it. Knead the dough on the floured surface for five minutes.
Separate the dough into four equal sections and shape each section into a long, 1/2-inch-thick roll.
Use a sharp knife to cut each roll into 20 equal-sized pieces. Place the pieces to one side of your working surface.
Place one piece of dough onto your working surface. Lay the tip of the knife onto the piece of dough, sharp edge facing away from you. The flat side of the knife should be pressed against the piece of dough.
Press the knife into the dough piece lightly. Pull toward your body, rolling the dough around the knife to create the sea shell shape. If the dough sticks to the knife, coat it in a layer of flour and try again.
Remove the sea shell-shaped dough from the knife’s blade and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
Allow the sea shell pasta to dry for 12 hours before use.
- "How to Make, Serve and Eat Pasta"; Jeni Wright; 2009
- "The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles"; Cook's Illustrated; 2002
- "The Pasta Bible"; Christian Teubner, et al.; 2009