Summer tomato sauce with paccheri

Summer tomato sauce with paccheri

Paccheri con pomodori freschi

The Amalfi Coast
Helen Cathcart

Perfectly ripe cherry, baby plum or datterini tomatoes that burst with flavour are perfect for this dish. I love to use the heirloom varieties too for a dash of colour as well as flavour. Paccheri are large open tubes of pasta commonly used on the AmalfiCoast. They are great as they trap the cherry tomatoes inside. If you can’t find them, try penne or farfalle instead. This recipe is from Michelina, the brilliant cook and owner of the beautiful Villa Maravilla in Praiano, where we shot many of the photographs for this book.


Quantity Ingredient
350g dried pasta, such as paccheri, penne, rigatoni or farfalle
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2-1 fresh red chilli, depending on strength
or 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
200g fresh ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large sprigs basil, leaves roughly torn
25g finely grated parmesan or grana padano


  1. Make sure you have all the ingredients to hand and then cook the pasta in a large pan of well-salted boiling water. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic and chilli for 1–2 minutes, but no more as they will burn. Add the tomatoes, half the basil and some salt. Squash the tomatoes using the back of a spoon. When the pasta is just al dente, remove it with tongs and toss it into the tomato sauce, along with a tablespoon of cooking water to lengthen the sauce.
  2. Stir the pasta into the sauce and let it finish cooking – this way it will absorb more of the flavour of the sauce. Add the remaining basil and toss again. Serve in warmed bowls with a sprinkling of Parmesan or Grana Padano.
The AmalfiCoast
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