Conchiglie alla Sarda

This recipe initially started out as a copycat attempt of Conchiglie alla Sarda, one of our favorite dishes from Topo Gigio – a small, neighborhood Italian restaurant in Chicago. IYKYK. And if you don’t know, it’s Italian sausage in a tomato cream sauce over shell pasta. Simply amazing. Anyways, we were desperate to recreate it after we moved to Chicago and “made up” this recipe in the process. I’m not convinced it’s a true copycat recipe but it’s good in its own right and now a Darling household staple. It’s definitely a hearty meal but can easily be doubled or tripled to accommodate a larger group and is always a crowd pleaser.

Conchiglie alla Sarda Recipe


  • 1 lb. Mild Ground Italian Sausage, browned [not in casing]
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1 Lg. Sweet Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine [I like to use Trader Joe’s brand Pinot Grigio]
  • 28 oz. Crushed Tomato Sauce [can also use two 15 oz. cans]
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 16 oz. Pasta of your choice [we like large shells but you can use anything you want]


  1. Using a deep pot, sauté Onion and Garlic in Olive Oil
  2. Add browned Italian Sausage and mix
  3. Add Butter and White Wine and reduce by 50% [about five minutes]
  4. Add Tomato Sauce
  5. Add Salt, Pepper and Italian Seasoning to taste
  6. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 minutes later . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  1. Start water for Pasta
  2. Add Heavy Whipping Cream to sauce mixture
  3. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently
  4. Cook Pasta according to directions
  5. Once Pasta is done, top with sauce and enjoy

This recipe does require a little prep work to brown the sausage and let flavors simmer but is so worth it. If you’re a pasta lover like myself or generally a fan of Italian cuisine, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. You can thank me later!



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