Conchiglie Balsamico

June 2, 2010

This past weekend was my annual college Reunions, which means I had the chance to enjoy many of my favorite restaurants in the area.  One of them, Teresa’s Caffe, has a delicious conchiglie balsamico that is one of my main go-to dishes.  This is my variation, and I must say it comes pretty close to replicating their delectable dish.  Plus it’s great at this time of year when asparagus is all over the place!

You will need…

  • 3/4 lb whole wheat small shells or conchiglie
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes (optional)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, diced
  • 2 small bunches of asparagus, cleaned and trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 of a small onion, grated
  • 3 T margarine
  • 4 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 pint cream (heavy or light)
  • 6-8 T balsamic vinegar (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Then  you…

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the bouillon cubes.  Cook the pasta according to directions, removing 1-2 minutes before al dente (will continue cooking in the sauce after).  Drain.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil.  Saute the chicken until starting to brown. Add the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the asparagus is tender but still crispy.  Remove from heat and store the mixture in a large bowl.
  3. In the same skillet, melt the margarine.  Add the garlic and onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and season with pepper.  Cook until just starting to caramelize. Add to the bowl with the chicken and asparagus.
  4. In the same skillet, add 6 T of balsamic vinegar and allow to cook for about 1 minute.  Mix in the heavy cream, stirring well. Taste and add more vinegar if a stronger flavor is desired, 1 T at a time. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Return the chicken and vegetables to the sauce.  Add the cooked pasta and mix well.  Allow to sit, covered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


  1. Thanks for the recipe! We were supposed to eat at Teresa’s last night but couldn’t so I was craving this. Once you get the balsamic/cream ratio right, this is right on! I used half and half to cut the fat.

  2. Oh my gosh, thank you! I have been craving this forever, and being that I moved away from Princeton after graduating high school, and my dad moved recently as well, I have no true ties to the area and no reason to go (unless this dish is good enough reason to fly halfway cross country. I say yes. Hubby probably would say no!) so thank you! This was by far my favorite dish to get anywhere in Princeton when I lived there! I didn’t get enough of it! I cannot wait to try your recipe! 🙂
    P.S. It’s been so long, I can’t remember…do they use mushrooms in their recipe? I didn’t think they did. Also, do you have a recommendation for a good quality balsamic to use? Thanks again!

    • Hi! The mushrooms aren’t in the original dish, but I really like them and kept them in my version. Like cooking with wine, you want to avoid cheaper vinegars; try a mid-priced bottle from your local grocery store.

      • Thanks SO much! I can’t wait to try this 😀

  3. thanks for the recipe. How many does this serve?

    • I find it serves 4 hearty portions, or 6 smaller servings that work well with salad and leave room for dessert.

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