Piccolo tomatoes, sweet pickled onions, ricotta cavatelli, basil

  • 4
  • 3 hours plus 2 days for the consommé, pickle and basil seeds
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This light pasta and Piccolo tomato dish from Stuart Collins is a perfect summer supper. It takes a few days to make the tomato consommé, but it's almost all hands off time, and a delicious sweet and tart side for the rich, ricotta cavatelli.

First published in 2024




Tomato consommé

To clarify

Basil seeds

  • 30g of basil seeds

Sweet pickled onions

  • 100g of pearl onions, peeled and cut into slivers
  • 50ml of water
  • 150ml of red wine vinegar
  • 40g of cane sugar
  • 10g of salt

Semi-dried tomatoes

Basil and ricotta cavatelli


  • micro basil, viola flowers and mustard frills
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • Dehydrator
  • Vacuum bag and machine
  • cavatelli machine



Place all ingredients for the tomato consommé into a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes


Place into a colander and pass through muslin cloth. Leave to drain overnight


Return the strained consommé to the heat and bring back to a gentle boil


Whisk in all the clarification ingredients, stir, then bring back to the boil and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes


Remove from the heat and carefully pass through a muslin cloth and chill


Cover the basil seeds in some of the chilled consommé and leave to bloom overnight in the fridge

  • 30g of basil seeds

For the pickled onions, heat the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until simmering and ensure dry ingredients have dissolved

  • 50ml of water
  • 150ml of red wine vinegar
  • 40g of cane sugar
  • 10g of salt

Pour the pickling liquid onto the onion and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, vacuum pack to compress the pickle and leave overnight


For the semi-dried tomatoes, drizzle the tomatoes with rapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper


Dehydrate at 60°C for 7 hours


For the cavatelli, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Blanch the basil for a few seconds until soft, and then transfer to iced water


Blend the blanched basil until smooth


Mix the basil with all the remaining cavatelli ingredients in a stand mixer, and mix on low speed 2–3 minutes until combined. Add a little more flour if necessary


Remove from the mixer and knead on a bench until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour


Once chilled, roll out until 1 cm thick and cut into 1 cm strips. Dust with flour and roll into round, thin sausages


Pass the pasta dough through a cavatelli maker, and dust the pasta in some more flour


To serve, bring a large pot of water for cooking the cavatelli


Poach the cavatelli for 3 minutes or until cooked through, then transfer to a plate


Top the cavatelli with the semi-dried tomatoes, spoonfuls of basil seeds, the pickled onion, flowers and leaves, then drizzle over the oil

  • micro basil, viola flowers and mustard frills
  • extra virgin olive oil

Serve with the warm consommé on the side, for pouring over

Brought to you by

After working with the likes of Gary Rhodes, Michael Caines and Gordon Ramsay, Stuart Collins set out on his own to open Docket No. 33, a small but perfectly formed restaurant in the beautiful town of Whitchurch in Shropshire.

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