Conchiglie pasta with pork polpette and artichokes

Conchiglie pasta with pork polpette and artichokes.
Conchiglie pasta with pork polpette and artichokes. Photo: Marcel Aucar

This is an intense and lusciously textured pasta. As the liquid reduces and concentrates, the time spent browning the polpette and caramelising the onion and celery really pays off - just be careful not to season too heavily early in the cooking.


500g good quality Italian pork sausages

extra virgin olive oil

salt flakes

freshly ground black pepper

3 sticks celery, finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 brown onion, finely diced

1 fresh bay leaf

250ml dry white wine

1 litre good quality chicken stock (unsalted)

6-8 preserved artichokes, cut in half (see recipe below)

500g conchiglie or other short pasta

1/2 bunch mint, picked

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

100g pecorino, finely grated


1. Remove the skins from the sausages and roll the meat into balls about the size of a 20-cent piece to make polpette.

2. In a wide-based pan, add a good slug of oil and brown the polpette well all over, about five minutes. Season lightly and lift out of the pan.

3. Add the celery, garlic, onion and bay leaf to the pan (with a splash of oil if necessary) and cook until well caramelised, about 15 minutes.

4. Return the polpette to the pan, add the wine, stir through and reduce by two thirds. Add the stock and 500ml of water and simmer quickly for 30 minutes.

5. Add the artichokes and simmer for another 20 minutes - the liquid should be reduced by two thirds.

6. Cook the pasta until just al dente, drain quickly and add to the pot. Tear in the mint and add the peas, stir through and cook for about one minute. Check the seasoning, add half the cheese, mix through and serve with the remaining cheese on the side.

Drink: A richly styled verdicchio