Lumaconi with Short Rib Sauce

A while back I posted this pasta shape photo on Facebook, with the caption, “What would you make with these?” I sincerely needed help, because all I could think to do with this large variety, called Lumaconi, is to stuff them, like one would stuff manicotti.

The thing is, I don’t stuff. Which seriously makes me wonder why in the world I purchased it. I guess I’m like a little kid in a candy store when it comes to pretty pasta.

I received wonderful suggestions online – mostly stuffing ideas with ricotta-based fillings, and sauce ideas like sausage-pumpkin and lobster.

But my friend Shanna, a food blogger herself, although also a busy Mom to three beautiful foodie children, and awaiting her fourth, came up with the winning solution to my lumaconi dilemma.

Make a sauce with short ribs!!!! That way, little bits of the velvety-soft ribs would coat the pasta but also stick inside it.

Thank you, Shanna! Here’s what I did.

Lumaconi with Short Rib Sauce

7 1/2 – 8 pounds short ribs, about 12 ribs
12 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
Olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
Approximately 8 ounces carrots, coarsely chopped
Approximately 8 ounces celery – ribs and leaves – chopped
Coarsely chopped bunch of flat-leafed parsley
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups beef broth, or more
2 cups red wine
8 ounces tomato paste
6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
Dried thyme, to taste, about 1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 – 500 gram package (17.6 ounces) lumaconi
Freshly chopped parsley, optional
Freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Bring the short ribs close to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the flour, pepper, and salt together in a large bowl.

Have a large pot on the stove, with at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil in it over high heat. Coat four short ribs into the flour mixture and place in the pot with the hot oil.

Brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total, then place them in a large bowl.

Add more olive oil to the pot, if necessary, and when it’s hot, brown the next four ribs. Repeat until they are all browned.

Lower the heat to medium and stir in the onions, carrots, celery, and parsley. Add a little oil if necessary.

Sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic for only 30 seconds, then add the red wine and broth.

Let the mixture come to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Then place all of the short ribs in the mixture; they should all fit in one layer, even if they’re upright.

If the ribs stick out too much above the liquid, add a little more broth until the short ribs are mostly covered.

Let the veggie-liquid mixture come to a boil again, then cover the pot and turn down the heat to simmer. After about 2 hours, move the ribs around, then cook for another 2 hours.

Turn off the heat, let the ribs cool off, uncovered, then refrigerate overnight.

Before heating up the short ribs and sauce, gently remove some of the congealed fat. I say “gently” because although the fat might offend a lot of folks, it also holds a lot of good flavor.

Heat the pot of short ribs and sauce slowly, uncovered, then remove the short ribs from the sauce, using tongs, to a bowl or large plate to cool.

Add the tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes.

Heat the sauce a bit, mostly to soften the tomatoes. Then, using a hand blender, emulsify the sauce.

Alternately, use a large blender jar to blend the sauce smoothly. Taste for seasoning.

When you can handle the cooled short rib meat, finely chop it up and add to the blended sauce; keep warm.

Alternatively, use a stand mixer to shred the meat. I first learned this technique when I made pork rillettes, and it works great! Just stop mixing before a paste forms!

In a large pot of salted water, cook the lumaconi or other pasta according to package directions.

Drain and add the pasta to the short rib sauce. Or, place the pasta on a plate and top with desired amount of sauce, which is what I did.

Serve hot, with chopped parsley.

The short rib sauce isn’t beautiful; I could have thinned it a bit. But it’s extremely flavorful.

I served two people who wanted Parmesan, and it went beautifully with the pasta and sauce.

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. March 8, 2018 at 6:52 AM - Reply

    I love the pasta! – I’m a kid in a candy store too when it comes to pasta – must look for it at my Italian grocery. Your recipe using it looks great too :)

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      Thank you. These were really fun, and so unique!

  2. Loretta March 8, 2018 at 7:51 AM - Reply

    Definitely a meal fit for a King or Queen perhaps? :) Love the pasta, so original, and that sauce with the short ribs, the wow factor comes screaming through!

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 7:54 AM - Reply

      Thank you. It was such a smart idea!

  3. Our Growing Paynes March 8, 2018 at 9:03 AM - Reply

    An excellent solution! I would love a bowl of this.

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 9:23 AM - Reply

      It was really good. And it went fast!

  4. Linda Duffin March 8, 2018 at 10:48 AM - Reply

    Fantastic! That looks soooo good. A brilliant solution. Lx

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 11:34 AM - Reply

      Yes – I still can’t think of another way to serve this huge pasta!

  5. Bill March 8, 2018 at 12:15 PM - Reply

    What a grand solution to a wonderful problem to have! Short ribs are one of my favorite ragus to make. And that pasta! Almost look like little mussel shells. Beautiful.

    • chef mimi March 9, 2018 at 7:24 AM - Reply

      Aren’t they amazing?!! I love short ribs, too. I think it’s my first time ragu’ing them – I love them whole as well.

  6. Michelle March 8, 2018 at 6:01 PM - Reply


    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 8:03 PM - Reply

      Thank you!

  7. ladyredspecs March 8, 2018 at 6:57 PM - Reply

    Sounds wonderful Mimi, a great solution to serving that giant sized pasta. I’ve only ever stuffed them with ricotta and spinach and sauced them with tomatoes

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 8:03 PM - Reply

      And that really does sound lovely, I’m just too lazy to do that!

  8. Laura @ Feast Wisely March 8, 2018 at 11:26 PM - Reply

    Lovely Chef Mimi – I’ve used this type of pasta just once in a very non adventurous stuffed way…..the ribs bring my fond memories of my meat eating days….

    • chef mimi March 9, 2018 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      Well, I think stuffing is adventurous. I just don’t know why it seems so tedious to me!

  9. Susan (@savoringtime) March 9, 2018 at 3:39 PM - Reply

    I’ve never seen that pasta shape before. I think you made a winner with the short rib sauce!

    • chef mimi March 9, 2018 at 3:42 PM - Reply

      I’d never seen it before, either. Honestly I’d recommend other shapes before this one, only because it’s challenging to eat! But it’s also really fun!

  10. kathryninthekitchen March 9, 2018 at 6:54 PM - Reply

    Lovely recipe which can be used in various ways!

    • chef mimi March 9, 2018 at 7:13 PM - Reply

      Definitely – thank you!

  11. Blogtastic Food March 9, 2018 at 8:05 PM - Reply

    What a wonderful way to make pasta! that short rib sauce is making me hungry (:

    • chef mimi March 10, 2018 at 7:08 AM - Reply

      Thank you! I take that seriously as a compliment.

  12. Frank Fariello March 11, 2018 at 7:35 AM - Reply

    Now doesn’t this look good? Lumaconi and even their smaller cousins really are ideal for catching chunky sauces. And this one really does look mouth-watering.

    • chef mimi March 11, 2018 at 7:44 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much Frank! That’s a real compliment coming from you.

  13. Culinary Flavors March 11, 2018 at 12:10 PM - Reply

    Unlike you, I love stuffing things! For me they are like little food presents. You eat and you reveal the edible inside! I think your recipe compromises both filling and not filling haha! They look delicious!

    • chef mimi March 11, 2018 at 1:12 PM - Reply

      That’s a beautiful description! And I never said I wouldn’t eat stuffed pasta!

  14. Emma March 11, 2018 at 3:53 PM - Reply

    I do exactly the same thing, buy pasta because it’s pretty and unusual then wonder what I am going to do with it!

    • chef mimi March 11, 2018 at 4:13 PM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! It’s a disease!

  15. Abbe@This is How I Cook March 11, 2018 at 10:22 PM - Reply

    Now this is a great meal and I don’t even like short ribs. But my mother adores them and she also loves pasta so I know this was made for her!

    • chef mimi March 12, 2018 at 7:58 AM - Reply

      I love them. They’re like velvet to me. If it’s about the fat, I removed as much as I could when I made them into a sauce, whereas I usually leave a lot on when I serve them whole.

  16. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward March 12, 2018 at 10:13 AM - Reply

    This sounds soooooooo good. Dare I say it might be topped with a goat cheese? 😋 You really can’t go wrong with short ribs cooked to perfection!

    • chef mimi March 12, 2018 at 5:55 PM - Reply

      Oh my. Heaven.

  17. Jack & Barbra Donachy March 12, 2018 at 4:24 PM - Reply

    We purchased a bag of these for much the same reason you did – we like pasta in different shapes. Nicely done on the recipe. You’ve got us thinking…

    • chef mimi March 12, 2018 at 5:55 PM - Reply

      Thank you! They’re adorable, aren’t they?!!

  18. Gerlinde March 12, 2018 at 9:36 PM - Reply

    I have never seen pasta like this but I love your short ribs and any pasta is good with them.

    • chef mimi March 12, 2018 at 9:41 PM - Reply

      Thank you gerlinde!

    • chef mimi March 13, 2018 at 8:58 AM - Reply

      That is truth, Gerlinde!

  19. canelakitchen March 13, 2018 at 8:49 AM - Reply

    Love this pasta Mimi. Looks absolutely awesome !! xo

    • chef mimi March 18, 2018 at 8:26 PM - Reply

      Thank you! Really neat pasta shapes!

  20. Snapshotsincursive March 13, 2018 at 8:54 AM - Reply

    Such a striking presentation. Well done! 🌟✨💫

    • chef mimi March 13, 2018 at 8:57 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  21. Greg Henry (@sippitysup) March 13, 2018 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    This is one gorgeous dish. Aren’t you glad you picked up that unusual pasta? I am. GREG

    • chef mimi March 18, 2018 at 8:25 PM - Reply

      YES! Of course, I’ve never met a pasta I didn’t love…

  22. Teagan R. Geneviene March 13, 2018 at 1:48 PM - Reply

    You’ve got to admit, it’s really cute pasta, Mimi. :D The photos are marvelous and it looks delicious. Hugs.

    • chef mimi March 18, 2018 at 8:25 PM - Reply

      Thank you Teagan! I appreciate your sweet comment. The pasta is really cute. The pasta are?

  23. heather (delicious not gorgeous) March 14, 2018 at 12:39 AM - Reply

    ahhh this sounds ridiculously good! i’ve never seen (or heard of) lumaconi before. there’s so many different pasta shapes that it’s mind-blowing (and confusing lol). bon appetit did a video of a chef making different kinds of pasta for 20 min, and my friend and i were just watching, mesmerized.

    • chef mimi March 14, 2018 at 10:58 AM - Reply

      I would have loved to have seen that. Maybe i can find it!

  24. kitchenriffs March 14, 2018 at 10:42 AM - Reply

    LOVE pasta sauce made with short ribs! This looks terrific. And by coincidence, I have a short rib recipe too this week! Great minds. :-)

    • chef mimi March 14, 2018 at 10:59 AM - Reply

      Of course! Short ribs are just magical!

  25. StefanGourmet March 14, 2018 at 12:30 PM - Reply

    Great ragù and I agree it’s wonderful for this pasta shape. Great things happen when two of my favorite blogging friends join forces! I have some lumaconi somewhere in my pantry and may do a sous-vide version ;-)

    • chef mimi March 14, 2018 at 5:42 PM - Reply

      What a sweet comment! Thank you.

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