This lumaconi from Setaro is proof that there’s still plenty of room for creativity in the pasta profession. With all the rich history that surrounds much Italian cuisine, you might have thought pasta making was purely a matter of tradition, with artisans molding the same shapes that have been around for centuries. But these are a relatively new addition to the pasta pantheon, with a name taken from the Italian for snail. Like their namesake garden dweller, lumaconi are coiled, with a large open pocket that ends in a curled, pinched end. More complex than a simple shell, this adorable shape has become an instant classic thanks to its versatility.
Since 1939, the Setaro family have been making pasta on a winding street in Torre Annunziata in Naples, known as the pasta capital of Italy. Their factory is on the same street, in fact, where Giada's grandfather once made his own pasta! The semolina flour they use is minimally processed, creating a more flavorful pasta than those found in the U.S. Setaro employs the traditional method of air-drying pasta in the cool, salt-tinged breezes that blow in through wild rosemary bushes from the Mediterranean coast, a practice that makes for a delightfully chewy finished product.