My pasta purchasing habits can, at times, get so out of hand that at one point I had an assortment of 10 pounds stashed away among my foodstuffs: spaghetti, penne, cannelloni, fusilli, lasagne, anelli – all De Cecco by the way – and this 500 gram box of lumaconi. Why so much? Well in some ways I’m a hoarder and in others I just need to be sure that I can feed an army at any given moment. I’m not certain of De Cecco pasta prices in the states, but a package of spaghetti can go as low as 66 euro cents here! This is when the temptation to pick up regular-priced pasta becomes hard to resist, like for instance, this lumaconi.
Directions on the box states 5 lumaconi per person but I went with 8 for a total of 16. The filling is a basic ricotta and erbette (like a very young swiss chard) but spinach is also good. The erbette, as with spinach, needs to be cooked with a tiny amount of water then squeezed dry and chopped before using. I like erbette because they’re easier to clean, take up less space in a pot with their flatter leaves, and have a milder taste than spinach.
Filling: 3/4 pound erbette, 1 cup ricotta, 1 egg, 1/4 cup grated parmigiano, salt & pepper to taste. Prepare the erbette as directed above. Mix together with the remaining ingredients and loosely stuff the precooked lumaconi shells, placing them in a lightly oiled baking dish. Pour 1 cup or so of tomato sauce (homemade if possible!) over all; cover tightly with foil or lid and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Serve with grated parmigiano on top.