Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes and Burrata

Best eaten outside, slowly, and with a chilled glass of white (or rose). Salad on the side. Ideally we're on the terrace of your Italian villa...


  • 1/2 pound orecchiette
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed with a knife
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 round of burrata, divided


Step 1

Boil heavily salted water and cook pasta according to the package.

Step 2

In a saute pan, heat olive oil over high heat. Turn flame to medium-low and add smashed garlic cloves, salt, black pepper and onion powder. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Mix in cherry tomatoes and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Uncover and check to see that some of the tomatoes have begun to burst and their juices are starting to create a sauce. Add the sugar and Aleppo pepper to taste (if using) and stir to combine. Cook, covered again, for another 10 minutes. At this point, the tomatoes should have all burst and there should be a nice amount of sauce in the pan. Turn the heat to the lowest mark and allow to simmer uncovered until ready to serve with pasta.

Step 4

Prepare the burrata by placing it in a bowl and cutting into the round of cheese. Allow the creamy center to spill out and roughly tear the outer mozzarella with your hands. It should all TK together. Set aside.

Step 5

When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to saute pan with cherry mixture. Scoop a few large spoonfuls of starchy pasta water and add to the sauce, stirring well to combine. Spoon pasta and sauce-y tomatoes into serving dish and top with half of the burrata. Mix to allow cheese to melt. Top with remaining burrata just before serving.

Step 6

(Torn leaves of fresh basil make a lovely topping, too.)

Cook Notes

You could replace the burrata with ricotta in a pinch or, of course, sub in some fresh mozzarella instead of the creamier burrata. You could add some spice in the form of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper. You can do lots of things from this base. Go wild!

photo by Nicole Jackson

From the Kitchen

How other cooks made this recipe

I loved the original recipe! I just like things a little spicy, so I added in jalapeno and also red onion because I love the sweetness that it adds. I would still like to enjoy this at my Italian summer villa, even though it's perhaps a little less traditional now :)