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Recipes for coquillettes : the french pasta

Coquillettes: a dish that reminds the French of their childhood. Either because grandma cooked them perfectly and we enjoyed them with our cousins, or because they weren't so bad in the canteen... They're also easy to make, inexpensive, and lend themselves to some great recipes:


Coquillettes: history and cooking


Who invented coquillettes?


That's France. The PANZANI company, which is French contrary to what its name might suggest, invented this pasta in 1950. They come out of the machines in the form of long tubes which are cut to produce these little shells. They are prepared with durum wheat flour and eggs. There are several versions, notably the Alsatian version, which is much more gourmet since it generally contains more eggs .



How to cook coquillettes?


For 500 grams of coquillettes, you'll need 5 liters of water to boil. We often use 1 teaspoon of coarse salt per liter of water (10 grams). There's no need to add oil, as the volume of water will prevent them from sticking, as will the fact that they rotate in the pan as you dip them in. The cooking time starts from the moment the water starts boiling again after you've plunged the coquillettes in, i.e.: 7 minutes for Al Dente, 8 minutes for medium-rare, 9 minutes for soft and overcooked. A matter of taste!


Raw coquillettes. Photo chosen by via depositphotos.

Raw coquillettes. Photo chosen by via depositphotos.



Recipes for coquillettes


The classic: coquillettes with butter and grated cheese



Serves 4:


  • 500 grams coquillettes
  • 150 grams grated cheese
  • 100 grams butter (you can use salted butter).
  • 5 liters ofwater
  • 50 grams of salt,
  • Pepper.


The process


  1. Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Cut your butter into pieces, prepare the strainer and open your packet of grated Gruyère.
  3. When it boils, add the salt and throw the coquillettes in, keeping the heat high and turning them at the start for a few moments.
  4. Lower the heat a little, but keep it fairly high.
  5. After 8 minutes, remove from the water and drain.
  6. Return the pasta to the pan, add the butter and cheese, season with a little pepper and stir. Place in the serving dish.
  7. Taste and add salt if necessary.


Photo dépositphotos



Puff pastry with ham




Serves 4


  • 350 grams coquillettes
  • 200 grams of ham (white, cooked, or 250 grams of bacon if you prefer).
  • 80 grams grated cheese.
  • 80 grams butter
  • 35 grams salt (3 teaspoons, slightly packed)
  • 4 liters ofwater
  • Pepper if you like.



The process


  1. Cut the ham into strips, cut your butter into 4 pieces, take out your colander, open the packet of grated cheese or grate it yourself, but not too finely.
  2. Bring 4 liters of water to the boil in a large saucepan. When it boils, add the salt and plunge your coquillettes into the water, swirling them around for a few moments with a wooden spoon.
  3. After 8 minutes (counted from the start of the boiling process), remove the dough and drain.
  4. Return your cooked pasta to the pan, add the chopped ham, half your grated cheese and the butter, and mix briskly.
  5. Taste, and adjust with salt or pepper if you feel it's necessary.
  6. Put in the serving dish quickly enough so that it doesn't cool too quickly.
  7. Serve in a salad bowl, putting the cheese aside for everyone to help themselves.



Ideas for coquillettes


They can be served in many ways, for example with peas (which add color), or button mushrooms. They also go well with salmon. They can also be made into a gratin, by baking them first and adding cream and grated cheese (or mozarella or goat's cheese) on top before baking.

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.