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Burrata: The Delicate Cheese of Puglia

Italy’s famous burrata cheese is one of the most delicious, creamy and flavorful on earth. A fresh mozzarella-like cheese from the Italian region of Puglia, burrata is prized for its rich milky flavor and its two textures: a soft, elastic, spongy outer layer wrapped around a creamy, oozy interior.

Some say burrata (the name derives from burro, butter in Italian) was first created as a means to use up leftover scraps of mozzarella cheese. Cheese makers would add cream to the scraps and wrap them in a pouch made from a larger piece of mozzarella. As with regular mozzarella, burrata was originally made with water buffalo milk but is now more typically made with cow’s milk.

Burrata is delicious paired with crusty bread and flavorful ingredients like prosciutto, tomatoes, olives, nuts and herbs. If you are looking to try something new with this favorite formaggio, look no further than the recipes below.

Lemon and Olive Oil Marinated Fennel with Burrata and Mint
Serves 4

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium heads fennel, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 6 strips lemon zest, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 oz burrata
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grilled or broiled bread slices, for serving

Preparation
Place fennel, oil, zest and lemon juice in a shallow dish; season with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 min. Meanwhile, grill or broil bread slices, if serving. Just before serving, arrange fennel salad on a large platter. Scatter burrata and mint over fennel. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired.

Burrata Ravioli with Orange and Sage
Serves 4

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Ingredients

For the Browned Butter Orange Sauce

  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ oz nugget Parmigiano Reggiano
  • ¼ orange wedge
  • Sea salt

For the Ravioli

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ½ lb burrata
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 20 wonton wrappers
  • 3 oz baby spinach, stems removed
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Browned butter sauce (from above)
  • ¾ oz fresh Parmigiano Reggiano

Preparation
For the Browned Butter Orange Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the butter with the Parmigiano and the orange. Season with a pinch of salt and let cook over low heat until the butter browns, 8 to 10 min. Strain the butter into a small dish through a fine mesh strainer and reserve. Cool.

For the Ravioli: Cover a sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, and sage. On a plate, divide the burrata into 20 small mounds, about the size of a small nut. Season each with a pinch of the mixed garlic and herbs and with some freshly ground pepper. Place the egg yolk in a small dish and beat in the tablespoon of water.

Lay one of the wonton wrappers on a clean work surface. Keep the others covered so they don’t dry out. Using a small pastry brush, brush the yolk over the corners of the wonton dough. Place one of the mounds of seasoned burrata in the center of the dough and close the ravioli. Gently press the dough over the cheese to release any air trapped inside the ravioli. Apply pressure with your forefinger and thumb to seal the seams. Trim the edges with a chef’s knife. Place on the parchment-lined sheet pan or cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers.

Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil. Heat the serving plates in a 200°F. In a small bowl, toss the spinach with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and arrange on a warmed serving plate. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for 3 min, or until they float back up to the surface of the water. Using a spider, skimmer, or pasta strainer, lift the cooked ravioli out of the water, and drain well. Place the ravioli on the spinach, drizzle with the browned butter sauce, and grate the Parmigiano on top.

Campanelle with Burrata and Spinach

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb campanelle pasta
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 6-oz package baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 lb burrata, cut into 1-inch chunks

Preparation
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté until soft, about 2 min. Add lemon juice and lemon peel. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl. Place spinach and almonds atop hot pasta. Pour hot lemon mixture over spinach. Toss until spinach is wilted, about 1 min. Divide pasta among plates. Top with burrata cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.



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