Orecchiette with Burrata, Tomatoes and Almond Pesto

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orecchiette burrata tomatoes almond pesto recipe
Ed Anderson/Food of the Italian South

We’re tucking into a plate of creamy pasta, sipping on a glass of red wine and taking in a dramatic view of the sparkling green waters of Italy’s Adriatic Sea.

OK, that last part might not be true…but Katie Parla’s recipe for orecchiette with burrata, tomatoes and almond pesto from her new cookbook, Food of the Italian South, is as close to the Italian coast as it gets (short of actually going there).

“There are few pairings on earth as magical as oven-roasted tomatoes and burrata,” she writes. “The name, which comes from the Italian word for ‘butter’ (burro), is just as decadent. This summer dish, popular in Puglia, respects the burrata’s integrity by applying only the heat that comes from the cooked pasta. I like to use a mix of red and yellow tomatoes for a nice color and flavor contrast.”

Take a bite, close your eyes and you’ll be in Italy too.

Reprinted from Food of the Italian South. Copyright © 2019 by Katie Parla. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Ed Anderson. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC


Roasted Tomatoes

1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Sea salt, to taste

Almond Pesto

¼ cup almonds, finely chopped

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Sea salt, to taste

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


1 pound fresh orecchiette or dried orecchiette

7 ounces high-quality burrata


1. Make the roasted tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a medium bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, olive oil and dried oregano. Season with salt.

2. Transfer the tomatoes to a medium baking dish and roast until they are shriveled and dry, about 90 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the pesto: In a mortar, crush the almonds, ¼ cup of the basil and a heavy pinch of salt into a paste using the pestle.

4. Add a bit of olive oil to the mortar, but only as much as the herbs need in order to hydrate into a paste, no more than 3 tablespoons. (If you add too much oil, the pesto will quickly turn from green to a blackish-olive color.) When you have a smooth paste, stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and set the pesto aside.

5. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Heavily salt the water. When the salt has dissolved, add the orecchiette and cook until they lose their raw flavor, about 3 minutes.

6. Drain the orecchiette and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pesto, stirring to coat. Stir in the tomatoes and the burrata; garnish with basil.

Nutrition Facts
  • 498 calories

  • 27g fat

  • 45g carbs

  • 19g protein

  • 2g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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