Delicious Conchiglie alla Siciliana: A Taste of Sicily in Every Bite! 2024

Conchiglie alla Siciliana is a mouthwatering pasta dish hailing from the sunny island of Sicily, Italy. Pronounced as “kon-KEEL-yeh ah-lah see-chee-lee-AH-nah,” this dish features conchiglie pasta shells tossed in a rich, flavorful sauce that captures the essence of Sicilian cuisine. This dish boasts a delightful medley of flavors. The conchiglie pasta provides a perfect al dente bite, while the sauce offers a harmonious blend of tangy tomatoes, tender eggplant, and the warmth of garlic and red pepper flakes. It’s a balance of sweet, savory, and a hint of spiciness that leaves a lingering satisfaction on your palate.

Delicious Conchiglie alla Siciliana
Delicious Conchiglie alla Siciliana

Conchiglie alla Siciliana Recipe


  • 12 ounces conchiglie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Making Conchiglie alla Siciliana:

Making Conchiglie alla Siciliana
Making Conchiglie alla Siciliana
  • Cook the Pasta:
    • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
    • Once the water is boiling, add the conchiglie pasta and a pinch of salt.
    • Follow the instructions on the pasta package for cooking times. Cook the pasta until it’s “al dente,” meaning it’s cooked through but still slightly firm to the bite.
    • When the pasta is done, drain it using a colander and set it aside.

Instructions to Prepare the Sauce:

  • Heat the Olive Oil:
    • In a large pan or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Sauté the Eggplant:
    • Add the diced eggplant to the heated oil and sauté it for about 5-7 minutes until it turns golden brown and becomes tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Add Garlic:
    • Once the eggplant is tender, add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for another minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Incorporate Tomatoes and Seasoning:
    • Pour the diced tomatoes (from the can) into the pan with the eggplant and garlic.
    • Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes to add a touch of spiciness. Adjust the amount based on your preferred spice level.
    • Season the sauce with salt and black pepper according to your taste. Stir the mixture well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Simmer the Sauce:
    • Let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 10-12 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together and the sauce to slightly thicken. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  • Combine Pasta with the Sauce:
    • Once the sauce has simmered and reached a desirable consistency, add the cooked conchiglie pasta to the pan.
    • Gently toss the pasta in the sauce, ensuring that the pasta shells are evenly coated with the flavorful sauce.
    • Let the pasta simmer in the sauce for an additional 2-3 minutes. This allows the pasta to absorb the delicious flavors of the sauce.
  • Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the pan from heat.
    • Sprinkle freshly chopped basil leaves over the pasta for a burst of freshness and aroma.
    • For an extra savory touch, you can sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top before serving.
  • Storage Instructions:
    • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
    • To reheat, you can gently warm the pasta in a pan on the stove over low heat or use a microwave until it’s heated through.

Additional Tips

  • Feel free to personalize the dish by adding olives, capers, or grated pecorino cheese to enhance the flavors.
  • Ensure the eggplant is tender but not mushy to maintain its texture in the dish.
  • Adjust the spice level by increasing or decreasing the amount of red pepper flakes according to your preference.

Yield, Prep time and Calories

  1. Yield: This recipe typically yields about 4 servings.
  2. Preparation Time: The total preparation time for Conchiglie alla Siciliana, including cooking the pasta and making the sauce, is approximately 30-40 minutes.
  3. Calories: The calorie count per serving of Conchiglie alla Siciliana can vary based on specific ingredients used and portion sizes. On average, a serving of this dish ranges between 300-400 calories, but this can vary.
DetailsConchiglie alla Siciliana
YieldApproximately 4 servings
Preparation Time30-40 minutes
Calories (per serving)300-400 calories (approx.)
Yield, Prep time and Calories

What to Serve with Conchiglie alla Siciliana

What to Serve with Conchiglie alla Siciliana
What to Serve with Conchiglie alla Siciliana
  1. Fresh Italian Bread: Serve slices of crusty Italian bread or a warm baguette to mop up the delicious sauce. You can also toast the bread for added texture.
  2. Simple Green Salad: Prepare a fresh green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette dressing. The crispness of the salad complements the rich flavors of the pasta.
  3. Grilled Chicken or Shrimp: For a heartier meal, consider adding grilled chicken breasts, sliced and seasoned with Italian herbs, or some succulent shrimp seasoned with garlic and herbs as a protein-rich side.
  4. Roasted Vegetables: Roast a medley of vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and onions seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The caramelized flavors will complement the pasta beautifully.
  5. Garlic Bread or Bruschetta: Prepare garlic bread by spreading butter, garlic, and herbs on sliced bread and toasting it until golden brown. Alternatively, serve bruschetta topped with diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil for a flavorful appetizer.
  6. Antipasto Platter: Create a colorful antipasto platter with an assortment of cured meats, cheeses, olives, marinated vegetables, and breadsticks. It’s a perfect starter for a meal with Conchiglie alla Siciliana.
  7. Herb-infused Olive Oil Dip: Serve a small dish of extra-virgin olive oil seasoned with herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano. Dip your bread in this flavorful oil for an extra burst of taste.

This delightful Conchiglie alla Siciliana captures the essence of Sicilian cuisine, offering a blend of flavors and textures that make every bite a culinary delight!

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What does Conchiglie alla Siciliana mean, and how do you pronounce it?

Conchiglie alla Siciliana translates to “Sicilian-style shells” in English. It’s pronounced as “kon-KEEL-yeh ah-lah see-chee-lee-AH-nah.”

What does Conchiglie alla Siciliana taste like?

This dish offers a delightful combination of flavors. The conchiglie pasta provides a satisfying bite, while the sauce, made with tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, and spices, creates a harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, and savory tastes.

Can I adjust the spiciness of the dish?

Absolutely! The level of spiciness can be tailored to your preference. You can increase or decrease the amount of red pepper flakes in the sauce to achieve your desired spice level.

What are some variations or additional ingredients I can add?

You can personalize the dish by incorporating ingredients like olives, capers, grated cheese (such as pecorino), or even fresh herbs like parsley or oregano for added flavor.

How should I store leftover Conchiglie alla Siciliana?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

What can I serve alongside Conchiglie alla Siciliana?

This dish pairs well with options like fresh Italian bread, a simple green salad, grilled chicken or shrimp, roasted vegetables, or garlic bread.

Is Conchiglie alla Siciliana a vegetarian dish?

Yes, the basic recipe for Conchiglie alla Siciliana is vegetarian-friendly. However, feel free to customize it by adding your preferred protein or additional vegetables.

Can I make the sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a day or two. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and combine it with freshly cooked pasta.

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