Tomato Basil Conchiglie

This pasta dish has a very light and fresh taste. Do not boil the tomato sauce – this will keep the basil as green and as flavourful as possible.

Serves: 4

Preparation: 30 minutes


  • 350g  pasta shells (Conchiglie)
  • 4 plum tomatoes, skinned (see Tip)
  • 25g fresh basil, leaves removed from the stalks
  • 4 tbsp good olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • tiny fresh basil leaves
  • shaved vegetarian Italian hard cheese


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook the conchiglie according to the packet instructions until just al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes, saving all the juices, and put in a bowl.
  3. Lightly shred the basil leaves and add to the tomatoes with the oil. Season.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain well, reserving 150ml of the cooking liquid.
  5. Return the liquid to the saucepan, add the tomato mixture, and reheat without boiling.
  6. Add the drained pasta, check the seasoning and quickly stir to mix.
  7. Divide between four pasta dishes and serve garnished with the basil, shaved cheese, a grinding of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.


To skin the tomatoes, put them in a bowl, pour over boiling water, leave for 1 minute and then drain off the water. You will now be able to remove the skins easily. Use a sharp-pointed knife to remove the core where the stalk was attached.

This recipe is from Traditional Favourites published by Simon & Schuster.